What are the common places for metastatic lung cancer to spread?

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RossCamidgeMDPhD (Physician - Oncology - Hematology/Oncology (Verified) ) - 11 / 20 / 2012

In general terms, lung cancer has a certain predisposition to go to brain, bone, adrenals, liver, the other lung, lymphnodes in the middle of the chest and under the collarbones and the linings around the lungs and heart.

However, this doesn't have to happen in everyone. In addition, we published earlier this year that now we are breaking lung cancer down into different molecular subgroups they may behave differently in terms of how they spread as well. For example, ALK+ NSCLC has a higher incidence of spread to the linings in the lung and around the heart than other molecular subtypes of lung cancer. Others have also, for example, shown that EGFR mutant lung cancer can be associated with very small deposits in both lungs - so called miliary disease (as each deposit is the size of a 'millet seed'). But you can't use the pattern of spread as a substitute for molecular testing - they're just patterns that are more or less associated with one type or another.
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