What causes metastasis?

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A metastatic brain tumor begins as cancer in another part of the body.  The original, or primary, tumor is often located in the lung, breast or skin, but it can be located in any part of the body. The tumor spreads, or metastasizes, when cells break off from the primary tumor and travel through the blood stream to another part of the body.

Patients with existing cancer are at risk of developing a metastatic brain tumor, and as patients live longer with their primary cancer, they have a higher likelihood of developing metastatic tumors in the brain.