Locally Advanced

What is Locally Advanced Cancer?

Locally advanced cancer (also called locally advanced tumor) is an aggressive form of cancer that has spread within and/or around the organ originally affected. It usually involves any stage of cancer that is designated T3, T4 or N2-N3 as rated on the TNM scale (tumor, node, metastasis).

When a tumor becomes locally advanced, the cancer has spread from the primary site (where it originated) to the nearby tissue and potentially the lymph nodes. This means that the tumor can no longer be removed with surgery. While the cancer may not have spread to the distant organs, it usually requires aggressive treatments such as radiation and/or chemotherapy.

Symptoms of Locally Advanced Cancer

The symptoms depend on what type of cancer you have and how far has it spread in your body. Some common signs and symptoms which may occur in people who have locally advanced cancer are:

  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • Swelling or lump in the affected area
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Ability or difficulty in moving the affected area due to swelling or blockage
  • Fever, fatigue or weakness
  • Unexplained bleeding from the affected area or organs
  • Changes in skin color or texture on or near the affected area.

Treatments and Prognosis for Locally Advanced Cancer

The treatment and prognosis for locally advanced cancer depend on the type and stage of the cancer. In general, treatment options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of these. The main goal of treatment is to shrink the tumor and improve the patient’s quality of life.

Surgery is usually not an option for people with locally advanced cancer and may even be contraindicated if surgery would cause more harm than good. Radiation therapy is often used to reduce the size of the tumor and improve the chances of success with other treatments like chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is another option, but it is not always successful. Depending on the type of cancer, chemotherapy may be recommended either as the only form of treatment or as an adjunct to radiation therapy. The prognosis for people with locally advanced cancer depends on a number of factors including the type of cancer, stage of the cancer and the person’s overall health.