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Secondary cancer

Primary cancer is where cancer starts. If your cancer has spread to another part of your body, then it’s described as secondary cancer. The clinical term for this is metastatic cancer.


Secondary tumour

A secondary tumour is a second cancerous lump that appears on the body.


Doctors classify most cancers in four stages. The stages describe the size and growth of your cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. The four stages of cancer are defined as follows:

  • Stage 1: The cancer is small and hasn’t spread to other parts of the body. This is often called early-stage cancer.
  • Stage 2: The cancer is larger and has grown more deeply into tissues. It may have spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage 3: The spread of cancer is more extensive than Stage 2, but has yet to spread to other parts of the body.
  • Stage 4: Cancer has spread to other parts of the body.



If you have developed a solid tumour, then it will be surgically removed if possible.

During the operation, the surgeon will remove the cancerous tumour and some of the surrounding tissue around it, known as the tumour margin, to prevent cancer from recurring.



Cancer has many symptoms. Spotting the signs of disease early is the best way of receiving an early diagnosis.


Systemic therapy

Systemic therapies are treatments that enter the bloodstream and travel through the body (through the circulatory system). Examples of systemic therapies include certain biological therapies, chemotherapy and hormone therapies.


Targeted cancer therapy

Targeted cancer therapies are those used to directly target cancer cells. Targeted cancer therapy is a form of biological therapy and is used to stop cancer cells from growing and spreading, slowing and in some cases halting cancer.


TNM classification

The TNM classification is an alternative system clinicians may use to describe the spread and growth of cancer within the body.

The T refers to the size of the tumour; N if any lymph nodes are affected; and M if that cancer has spread to other parts in the body (metastasised).



A tumour is a lump of cells that forms together. Tumours can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Medical professionals may refer to tumours as neoplasms.


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