The Lymphatic System Is How Cancer Spreads: 4 Ways to Keep It Healthy


Following closely behind heart disease, can you name America's second-most pressing public health concern? If you answered cancer, you're correct. In January 2017, the American Cancer Society published their cancer statistic projections - the numbers of new U.S. cancer cases and deaths that will occur - in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. According to their projections, by the end of 2017, there will have been 1,688,780 new cancer cases and 600,920 cancer deaths.

Part of the reason why these figures are so alarmingly high is because cancer is a groupof diseases. It is best described as an "uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. If the spread is not controlled, it can result in death."

How Does Cancer Spread?

Generally, cancer can either spread through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. The National Cancer Institute actually offers a simple explanation of how cancer cells spread in in a series of steps:

  • Cancer grows into, or invades, nearby normal tissue
  • Moves through the walls of nearby lymph nodes or blood vessels
  • Travels through the lymphatic system and bloodstream to other parts of the body
  • Stops in small blood vessels at a distant location, invades the blood vessel walls, and moves into surrounding tissue
  • Grows in this tissue until a tiny tumor forms
  • Causes new blood vessels to grow, which creates a blood supply that allows the tumor to continue growing
  • While we tend to think of our lymphatic system as merely the vehicle of transmission for cancer, could it be that a congested lymph is increasing your cancer risk to begin with?
    Your lymphatic system is Your lymphatic system is made up of nodes and ducts throughout your body, such as: the armpits, under the jaw, either side of the neck or groin, and above the collar bone.