How does lung cancer spread to other parts of the body?

Lung cancer usually spreads to other parts of the body by invading directly into lymphatic channels. Lung cancer cells then spread to and start growing in nearby "local" or "regional" lymph nodes (for lung cancer this is usually in or around the chest). Cancer cells can then spread down the chain of lymph nodes until they have a chance to jump into the bloodstream and spread elsewhere in the body (to other organs or to faraway "distant" lymph nodes).
Lung cancer usually begins in one lung. If left untreated, it can spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the chest, including the other lung. Lung cancer can also spread throughout the body to the bones, brain, liver, or other organs.

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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.