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2014 N.E. Oncology Symposium Metastic Hepatic Tumor Ablation Lecture

Tumors are classified as either primary or metastatic. Primary tumors are those that grow in the tissue of from which they arise. Metastatic tumors spread via the blood stream and grow in distant sites. For example, a primary colon cancer (the tissue of origin is the colon) may spread via the bloodstream, leading to one or more metastatic tumors in the liver or lungs. Until recently, patients with metastatic tumors were considered ineligible for curative surgery. Due to important advances in surgical techniques and medical therapy, we are able to offer potentially curative operations to many patients with metastases to the liver or other sites.


Ideally, early and effective therapy for the primary tumor will prevent the development of metastases. If metastases have developed, then your team of experts at the Roger Williams Cancer Center may recommend a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. When appropriate, surgical techniques are selected based on the primary tumor type and the number and size of metastatic tumors. We commonly treat metastatic tumors in the liver which have spread from the colon or the rectum or neuroendocrine tumors. Other types of metastatic cancer are considered for surgery, as well, on an individual basis. Even when surgery is potentially curative, your cancer care team will often recommend combining surgical treatment with chemotherapy or radiation therapy to further decrease the chance of the cancer recurring.