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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Metastasis describes the state of having distant spread of a malignant tumour to a site removed from its origin. Generally, the aggressiveness and size of a given tumour is directly related to its ability to metastasize. An exception is CNS gliomas which are highly invasive but rarely metastasize.

Usually, the route of metastasis is characteristic of a particular tumour and can occur via:

  • direct extension from the site of origin
  • via fluid-filled spaces
  • through lymphatic spread
  • by traversing blood vessels and then haematogenous dissemination

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