Sunday, 19 October 2014



Knowing where some cancers metastasize, and what metastases go to which organs, can be important. So I've got a few mnemonics and trends to help me memorize these places and organs associated.

First off, notice that Lung and Breast cancers are involved in all these metastases. They are, in fact, the top cancers. (Lung is the top killer, but breast is the top incidence in women)

Metastasis to the brain:

First Aid uses "Lots of Bad Stuff Kills Glia," but I like using "Cancer: Some Love Killing Brain Glia" ...I don't know why, but I can remember that one better.






Metastasis to the liver:

GI related cancers + your most common cancers (lung and breast). Makes sense with the portal system and all.

Cancer Sometimes Penetrates Benign Liver, most common to least common:

Colon > Stomach > Pancreas > Breast > Lung

*Note that Dr. Goljan (amazing pathologist extraordinaire) says that Lung cancer is the most common, more than all the others. Take that info the way you like. I think I'm gonna go with colon cancer as more likely to metastasize to the liver through the portal circulation, it just makes sense (sorry Dr. Goljan)

Metastasis to the bone:

-Make an association with GU cancers, which are able to access the vertebral column through the batson paravertebral venous plexus. The vertebral column is the most common site of bone metastasis.

P.T. Barnum Loves Kids.






Metastasis to the lungs:

"Real Hardcore Cancers Fill Both My Lungs" (I like to read it HardCore cancers, to remind me the "core" is "choriocarcinomas)

Renal Cell Carcinoma

Hepatocellular Carcinoma (which, btw, is also known as a Hepatoma)


Follicular Thyroid Carcinoma



Metastasis FROM the liver

Loves the Adrenals. Also your common ones that receive metastasis get their revenge on the lungs: Breast, Brain, Liver.

Metastasis to the heart

You don't often think about the heart, so I thought I'd just say that Melanoma loves the heart. You also get a lot ofLymphomas metastasizing to the heart. And your two commons: Lung and Breast. Note that metastasis is more common than primary heart cancer.

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