Just Diagnosed with Cancer? Chat with Experts

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 debbie, Community Member, asks

Q: is spider cancer really cancer or a term used to describe how cancer will mastasize through a person

is spider cancer really cancer or is it a term used to describe how cancer will mastasize through a persons lymph nodes to spread through ones body at a quick rate

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Answers (1)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
1/27/09 8:07pm

Hi Debbie - Spider cancer is an obsolete term describing what a particular cancer looks like: a tumor with some vascular (blood veins) involvement, so that on scans it looks kind of like a spider. It's not a type of cancer, nor does it describe how cancer spreads. It's simply a description of a particular type of tumor. Hope this helps - PJH

matt, Community Member
12/11/09 1:20pm

no man spider cancer is true it looks like a normal tumor but when they do a bio the cancer spreads everywher and will spread all over the body






PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/11/09 4:02pm

Sorry, Matt, can't agree with you here - I stand by my original answer. PJH

Bill, Community Member
9/25/12 5:21pm

than what kind of cancer is this becouse my sister had this type and when they did surgery on her to remove a tumer it spread like wild fire

Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
9/25/12 6:13pm

Bill, of course, I haven't seen your sister's medical records, but unfortunately, many people have aggressive tumors that spread no matter what.  Often when it seems like the tumor spreads aggressively after surgery, it had already spread before the surgery.  For a tumor to be detected, it has to have some time to grow large enough to show up on a scan or to cause symptoms.  So if cancer is detected in the lungs, bones or liver a week or a month after the original tumor was removed from the breast, those cancer cells were probably already in the distant organ at the time of surgery.  I am sorry to hear about how fast your sister's cancer spread.  

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By debbie, Community Member— Last Modified: 11/03/12, First Published: 01/27/09