When I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in early 2017, I was already limping. At the time, I didn’t think there was any connection between the lump I’d felt in my left breast and the limp I’d had for a few months and the pain I was having in my leg. Now I understand that the original tumor had sent off circulating tumor cells (CTCs) long before I felt that lump searching for a good place to take root.
Those circulating tumor cells found fertile ground in my bones and took up residence.
That limp was caused by a 5 cm tumor in my left femur, more than twice as large as the original lump in my left breast. That tumor was made up of breast cancer cells that had spread from my breast through my blood.
We need to solve the problem of why cancer cells proliferate, how those cells find fertile ground to grow without brakes, and why certain parts of the body are open to receiving such malignant cells. These are questions that scientists pose every day and need funds to solve.
Watch out for the questions that different trials are attempting to solve — we don’t need more awareness or risk evaluations or attempts to discover cancer at earlier stages, we need an answer as to why the cancer doesn’t stay put. Solve the reason that cancer cells metastasize and the rest will follow.