Nine in ten cancer deaths are linked to the spread (metastasis) of cancer from its original location to other parts of the body. HOW and WHY cancer cells move is a huge question. Some recent advances are shedding light on this mysterious, but deadly process.
When treated with drugs or other stresses that can kill them, some cancer cells are able to enter into a kind of survival mode. They change the proteins they're making to save themselves and can then begin to move. The process is complex, and the cancer cells 'talk' to each other in ways that we don't fully understand. The result, though, makes good common sense - when the situation is bad where they are, the cells tend to leave that area.
Knowing that near-death experiences cause cancer cells to move and spread opens the door for the development of treatments designed to interrupt the process. Drugs that prevent the spread of cancer could save millions of lives every year!