Metastasis is a complicated process whereby several abnormal circumstances have to fall in places in order for cells to metastasize. Metastasis, for our purposes, will be defined as a transfer of malignant tissue from one organ to a totally different part of the body or organ that the malignant tissue isn’t connect to.
A very basic description of metastasis is in order to understand cancer. For metastasis to happen, the tumor cell has to accomplish four basic functions. First the tumor cell has to have the ability to dislodge from the cells around it. In normal tissue there are receptors to recognize and basically adhere to the cells next to them. Tumor cells either lose this ability or they produce enzymes which basically destroy the receptors. The cell then has to be released into the vascular or lymphatic system. Again, the tumor cells normally would be intercepted by an immune system which functions to attack and destroy these cells. Some tumor cells have the ability to go unrecognized by our own immune system, or can produce substances that can weaken the immune system. Some of us may already have a weakened immune system that allows the metastasis to sneak by.
Once a tumor cell is in the blood, or lymph, it now has to adhere to some other tissue. It can do this chemically or mechanically by simply getting stuck or lodged in capillaries or tiny arteries too small to let the tumor cells pass through. After this, the tumor can start to grow and reproduce. Once the metastasis grows, it needs to produce its own vascular supply in order to grow and reproduce. A tumor can only reach about 2 millimeters before it outgrows its blood supply. Tumor cells have the ability to create their own vascular supply, a process called angiogenesis. Once the vascular supply is produced, the tumor can grow and reproduce.
Cytokinines are the substances that tumor cells produce to accomplish some of these functions. It is important to remember that if you can interrupt any of these functions, metastasis cannot be accomplished. That’s where you need to focus nutritionally, and remember nutrition works far better in a preventative mode in the fight against cancer versus the treatment mode in curing cancer.