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Lung cancer metastasis

K004/9802

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Credit

RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / FLIX PRODUCTIONS MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / FLIX PRODUCTIONS MEDICAL ANIMATION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Animation showing cells from a lung cancer moving to a new site in the brain. The movement of cancer cells from one location to the other is called metastasis. Cells become cancerous when they lose control over division, and so replicate rapidly and in an uncontrolled manner. If these cells enter the bloodstream, as here, or the lymphatic system, they can be carried to distant locations in the body. When they come to rest they continue dividing, invading the existing tissues and forming a new tumour. This is known as a secondary, or metastatic, tumour. Cancers that spread like this are much harder to treat than those that remain localised in their primary site.

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