Thursday, March 10, 2011

Surgery-Induced Cancer Metastasis

Before I decided to go to Mexico for the Gerson Therapy treatment, I was contemplating about going for surgery as another option. Anyway, I have decided that in a future date, I would probably have to consider taking surgery possibly as a last resort to help my body heal, should most of the present therapies fails. You may say it's my last battle.

I met Emily in Mexico and she subsequently sent me a email link to an article by Life Magazine about surgery-induce cancer metastasis. To me, this article is earth shattering. One of my main concern about surgery was how active would the cancers cells be after the surgery is completed, i.e. during the recovery stage. Now, I think I have the answer.

Cancer Surgery: What You Need to Know Ahead of Time
The standard conventional treatment for cancer is what we called slash, burn and poison (surgery, radiation and chemotherapy) approach.

Most treatment involves surgery but many are not aware that after surgery the cancer will frequently metastasize (spread to different organs). Quite often the metastatic recurrence is far more serious than the original tumor. In fact, for many cancers it is the metastatic recurrence—and not the primary tumor—that ultimately proves to be fatal.

In order for cancer to spread to another part of the body, it goes through a complicated process which basically means the isolated cancer cells must break away from the primary tumor and enter a blood or lymphatic vessel. At this stage, the cancer cells must avoid detection until it exits the basement membrane of the blood vessel and burrow through the surrounding connective tissue to arrive at the organ that is its final destination. Now the cancer can grow at the new site.

In a study published in the medical journal Annals of Surgery in 2009, researchers reported that cancer surgery itself can create an environment in the body that greatly lessens the obstacles to metastasis that cancers cells must normally face. During cancer surgery, the removal of the tumor almost always disrupts the structural integrity of the tumor and/or the blood vessels feeding the tumor. This can lead to an unobstructed dispersal of cancer cells into the bloodstream, or seeding of these cancer cells directly into the chest or abdomen.

A study published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2001 compared the survival of women with breast cancer who had their tumors removed surgically, to the survival of women with breast cancer who did not have surgery. As expected, the findings established that surgery substantially improved survival in the early years. However, further analysis of the data determined that women who had surgery had a spike in their risk of death at eight years that was not evident in the group who did not have surgery.

Another group of researchers commenting on a study examining the surgical treatment of colon cancer were far bolder in their conclusions: clinical evidence support that surgery, although greatly reducing tumor mass and potentially curative, paradoxically can also augment metastasis development.

What You Need to Know: Cancer Surgery
■ Surgical removal of cancer typically provides the best chance of disease-free survival.
■ A growing body of evidence suggests that cancer surgery itself may increase the risk of metastasis (spread to other areas) via numerous mechanisms including: increasing cancer cell adhesion, suppressing immune function, promoting angiogenesis, and stimulating inflammation.
■ Since metastatic disease is often deadlier than the original tumor, it is important to utilize preventive strategies to prevent cancer metastasis.
■ Steps to help prevent cancer metastasis include: combating cancer cell adhesion, supporting immune health, heightening immune surveillance, inhibiting angiogenesis, minimizing inflammation, and choosing surgeons and anesthesiologists who utilize advanced techniques that may reduce metastatic risk.
■ Certain nutrients, drugs, types of anesthesia, and surgical techniques are associated with reduced risk of metastasis.

To be continued.

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