Spreading Throughout the Body

Cancer_hallmark_mets2

The big killer in cancer is metastasis.  It’s rare for a single tumour to kill the patient, but when the cancer spreads around the body the patient is often in trouble.  The good news is that moving to another neighbourhood is tough.  Only one cell in a thousand survives the journey and some of them don’t do well in their new home.

Humans do not migrate lightly.  But, sometimes there is enough pressure that travelling to a foreign country is sufficiently attractive to make the effort worthwhile.

Cancer_hallmark_battle
Maybe things at home are a little hostile.

Cancer_hallmark_greener
And we all occasionally think that the grass is greener somewhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes things at home are unsettled.  Sometimes the grass simply looks greener on the other side of the fence.  But if you have the right attitude, the right kit, and an attractive destination, then it's possible to sever the links with your home country, make the journey and successfully settle in your new environment.  Staying where you are is a key part of teamwork amongst cells.  The instructions to 'stay put' are a chapter in the teamwork manual.

However, cancer cells can learn to move.  They must find their way to the nearest blood vessel and then use the blood stream to sweep them off to another part of the body.  Once there they must grab hold of the side to stop themselves and then grow into a new colony.

Cancer_hallmark_chameleon
If we keep a flexible attitude about fitting in.

Cancer_hallmark_ruck
If we have the right equipment.

Cancer_hallmark_beach
And finally, if we are motivated to make the move.