A 70-year-old patient is admitted to the hospital after a metastatic tumor was found in his liver. The patient asks whether a person can have a metastatic tumor without having primary cancer. Which of the following statements is correct?


•In most cases, when a metastatic tumor is found first, the primary cancer can also be found. This is because it is always caused by cancer cells from another part of the body.

•The pathologist knows that the diagnosed tumor is a metastasis because the cells do not look like those of the organ or tissue in which the tumor was found.

•It is correct to say that searching for the primary cancer involves lab tests and diagnostic exams, but this statement does not address the question of whether a metastatic tumor can exist without a primary cancer. The other options are inaccurate statements.

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