What is cancer of unknown primary (CUP) origin?

Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) origin is the diagnosis when metastatic cancer is found but the place where the cancer began (the primary site) cannot be determined. About 2 to 4 percent of all cancer patients have a cancer whose primary site is never identified.

Treatment for CUP depends on many factors, including where the metastatic cancer is found, what the cancer cells look like under a microscope, and the patient's age and general health. Recent advances in diagnostic techniques have improved doctors' ability to eventually find the primary site, even when the original diagnosis is CUP.

This answer is based on the source infromation from the the National Cancer Institute

Continue Learning about Cancer Diagnosis

5 Ways to Stay Emotionally Fit After a Cancer Diagnosis
5 Ways to Stay Emotionally Fit After a Cancer Diagnosis
When you’ve been diagnosed with cancer many of the conversations and decisions that follow will focus on your physical health. But you also need to ca...
Read More
How can diagnostic imaging help diagnose cancer?
Riverside Cancer Care CenterRiverside Cancer Care Center
When a particular sign or symptom may be related to cancer, the first step toward getting better...
More Answers
What questions should I ask my doctor after a cancer diagnosis?
If you have cancer, ask your healthcare team about: Information related to treatments and possibl...
More Answers
Can My Mind Help Me Fight Cancer?
Can My Mind Help Me Fight Cancer?

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.