Pathways By Which Metastatic Breast Cancer Spreads


Breast Cancer pic

Breast Cancer

Dr. Anil Sood is a respected Houston cancer researcher who has served on the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center faculty for 16 years and is director of the Blanton-Davis Ovarian Cancer Research Program. Among Dr. Anil Sood’s areas of extensive research is mechanisms of cancer metastasis.

Metastatic breast cancer involves cancerous cells breaking free from the initial breast tumor and migrating via blood vessels or the lymphatic system. The latter system comprises vessels and nodes, fulfilling the vital function of removing viruses and bacteria as well as waste produced by cells.

Unfortunately, the lymphatic system can be a conduit for cancerous cells to remain within the body for years after the disease is initially diagnosed and treated. Approximately one third of women who are treated for early-stage breast cancer will go on to develop the metastatic form of the disease. Regions to which breast cancer often spreads include the brain, lung, and liver, with each location presenting distinct symptoms. It can also spread to bones.