Q: Where do colon and rectal cancers typically spread?
A:Advanced stages of colon and rectal cancers indicate that the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Depending on the stage of the cancer, the disease may have spread to regional or distant tissues and organs through metastasis. Similar to all cancers, colorectal cancers tend to spread to certain areas of the body more frequently than others.
According to the National Cancer Institute, half of all colorectal cancer incidences will eventually spread to the liver. This is called hepatic metastasis. Beyond the liver, however, several other areas of the body are often designations for the spread of colorectal cancers. Distant lymph nodes in the abdomen, the lungs, the brain and bones are all frequent spots for secondary cancers to develop due to the spread of colorectal cancers.
If you or a loved one is battling an advanced stage of colorectal cancer, there are certain symptoms which might indicate that metastasis has occurred. Some of these signs include bloating, stomach aches, loss of appetite, feeling full, pain in the upper right side of the abdomen, a yellowish tinge to the skin, excess coughing, breathing difficulties, or coughing up blood. Bone pain may also be a symptom of metastasis, especially in the hips, pelvis, and spine. Other symptoms to be wary of include loss of memory, concentration, balance or movement.