Wednesday, June 14, 2017

More News I Don't Need

You know they tell us that evil cancer cells come out of the nasty cancer tumors and send them secretly through your body so that they show up later as unwanted metastases. These little cancer cooties (the professional term) are just nasty and unwanted and really want to kill us all in the end.

Now we have new research (because we always need more research) on how metastases occur. Or more correctly where and when the cancer cooties come from the tumors. Earlier research had thought that cancer cells came from the exterior of the cells and not very early.

"Even in remission, cancer looms. Former cancer patients and their doctors are always on alert for metastatic tumors. Now scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered why some cancers may recur after years in remission.

The findings, published in the journal Cell Reports, show that invasive tumors can begin sending out tumor cells far earlier than previously thought. These escaping cells – which can enter the bloodstream before the primary tumor is detected – may seed secondary tumors that don't show up for years.

Importantly, the scientists demonstrated that the escaping tumor cells reach the bloodstream by entering blood vessels deep within the dense tumor core, upending the long-held belief that metastatic cells come from a tumor's invasive borders."

I did not need to know this. I really did not need to know that these cells can escape long before the primary tumor is detected. 

"These escaping cells – which can enter the bloodstream before the primary tumor is detected – may seed secondary tumors that don't show up for years."

I love that line. Your metastases could be sitting there, hiding, for years before and after your original diagnosis. Then you get to sit there and ponder 'did my chemo kill those cancer cooties? Or am I doomed already?' No, doomed is not a good word. But I can't think of a better one. 

In addition, now oncologists need rethink metastases...

"The research suggests a primary tumor does not have to be highly invasive to seed metastases. In fact, doctors may want to reconsider the time frame for the onset of cancer cell dissemination. While invasive tumors are more likely to manifest intravasation, the two processes – intravasation and invasion – appear to be independent of each other."

So your basic, run of the mill, cancer, could be sending out more cooties all the time. Nice.

I need to stop reading cancer research. I didn't need this.

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