• Question: Why does cancer spread over time?

    Asked by Resh@science to Hayley, Jimi on 18 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Jimi Wills

      Jimi Wills answered on 18 Mar 2016:

      Cancers evolve. They lose the ability to protect DNA, so they can get mutations very fast. Each cell can get different mutations. Some of these will give the cancer an advantage, like being able to escape the immune system.

      Some of them enable the cancer cells to leave the tumour an travel to other sites in the body via the blood.

    • Photo: Hayley Moulding

      Hayley Moulding answered on 18 Mar 2016:

      Cancers spread over the body when the ‘metastasise’. This means that the cancer no longer has barriers around it to stop it going from one place in the body to another. The cancer has a big army with it of blood vessels and the ability to dodge through cell walls. It is big enough to now go through these areas on its own an spread.