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What are the ways that anal cancer can spread in the body?

Cancer is said to be metastatic when it moves from its place of origin to other parts of the body. Cancers spread from the site of origin in a typical pattern: invade local tissue; move through lymph vessels' or blood vessels' walls; travel through the lymphatic system or the bloodstream; invade capilliaries in distant locations; form turmors in the new location; create new blood vessels to feed the new tumor. Most commonly, when anal cancer metastasizes it spreads to the liver and lungs. When anal cancer is diagnosed it is staged, meaning the progression of the disease is determined using a scale from 0 (cancerous cells atop anal tissue) to IV (cancer spread to areas of the body distant from the original site).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.