James Madison University

Spread of Cancer

Technical Explanation of Cancer Mapping

Visualization of When and Where Breast Cancers Recur

Interactive Visualization of Metastases from Breast Cancer

Interactive Visualization of Metastases from Head and Neck Cancer

The cartoon below depicts a constructed cartography of recurrences from breast cancers.  Although the physical distance from the primary site of these cancers to the bone and liver is independent of the tumors estrogen-receptor status (ER- or ER+), the most likely recurrence site of these tumors are, as it turns out, dependant on whether the tumor cells are ER- or ER+.  ER- tumors are more likely to recur in the liver while ER+ cells are more likely to recur in bones.  Therefore, as seen in this example, when measured with constructed cartography ER- primary sites are "closest" to liver while ER+ cells are "closest" to bone, no matter their physical location.

DIAGRAM: Constructed Cartography