What is the pathophysiology secondary lung tumors spread by direct extension?

Updated: Feb 16, 2021
  • Author: Daniel S Schwartz, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Cancer spread through direct extension is not frequently encountered and most commonly includes direct invasion by a primary neoplasm, involving a contiguous organ or structure (eg, thyroid, esophagus, thymus, or chest wall), or spread from a neoplasm metastatic to another intrathoracic structure (eg, rib or mediastinal lymph node, commonly causing an obstructive lesion of the trachea or bronchus).

Direct extension can also occur through a vascular route, such as the spread of renal cell cancer or testicular germ cell cancer as a tumor thrombus to the lung via the inferior vena cava and the right side of the heart.

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