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Secondary cancer. Coloured positron emission tomography (PET) scan of the torso of a patient with metastatic tumours in the spine. One tumour is in a thoracic vertebra (T6, upper centre) while the other is in a lumbar vertebra (L5, lower centre). A radioactive tracer, injected into the patient's bloodstream, has been taken up by the tumours. A metastatic cancer is a secondary cancer that has spread (metastasised) from the site of the original cancer, which in this case was lung cancer. Once a cancer has spread the prognosis is poor.
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