Wikis > General Medicine > Oncology

Cancer refers to a group of disorders and not a single disease.

Properties of neoplastic/cancer cells:
• the growth of the cells are unrestrained; the cells do not respond to the normal feedback mechanism that regulates healthy cell growth
• cells are invasive/they invade surrounding tissues (does not happen in normal circumstance – cells remain segregated)
• metastases can form (secondary tumours that appear at sites that are distant from the original or primary tumour); malignant cells breakaway from the original site and migrate via the lymphatic or circulation to other sites  new tumour
• cells can divide indefinitely, which normal cells cannot

Aetiology of cancer:
Cancer results from alteration to the cells DNA

Malignant vs Benign:

Generally malignant tumours are faster growing and invasive (rather than expansive).

malignant cancerous cells can spread to sites distant from the primary site.
not in direct contact with cells of primary tumour
routes of metastasis:
direct spread into adjacent tissue
spread to site of lymphatic drainage
spread via vascular system
many case reports of tumours metastasising to foot – in some case’s foot symptoms where the presenting feature

Metastases can occur in the foot:
• case report of isolated foot metastasis from prostate cancer . Patient presented with foot pain 3 yrs after being treated for prostate cancer. Radiographs showed progressive sclerosis of the cuboid.

Staging/grading of Malignant lesions:
defines the extent and type of tumour
used as a guide to determine treatment and prognosis
based on clinical examination, biopsy, radiographic and/or surgical exploration

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