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Cancer first develops at a particular site in the body and is called primary cancer. Some of these cancer cells break off and travel to other body parts.
This cancer spreads from the site of origin to a different area of the body by a process called metastasis. Metastatic cancer is commonly called stage IV cancer or advanced cancer.
Cancer cells break off from the original tumor, spread through the bloodstream or lymph vessels to other body parts, and form new tumors. Metastatic cancer is given the same name as primary cancer.