What are the signs and symptoms of the disease?
The symptoms of metastasis depend on the site of spread.
In metastasis to the brain and central nervous system, symptoms include the following:
The following symptoms can be caused by tumors in the lungs:
cough, which may produce blood
dizziness from lack of oxygen
low oxygen levels, called hypoxia
shortness of breath
Liver metastasis can cause an enlarged painful liver, loss of appetite, and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin.
Other common problems are as follows:
ascites, or excess fluid in the abdomen
lymphedema, or swelling caused by blocked lymph vessels
masses in lymph nodes
If cancer cells metastasize to the bone marrow, they may interfere with production of blood cells. The individual may have the following problems:
anemia, or a low red blood cell count
low levels of white blood cells to fight infection
a shortage of platelets, or blood cells needed for normal clotting
Less commonly, a metastasis may cause the adrenal gland to fail. The kidney or gallbladder ducts may become blocked. Many other symptoms are possible. These symptoms are not necessarily linked to a certain kind of cancer.