When cancer cells lodge in lymph nodes or other parts of the body, they don’t always immediately start multiplying to form an obvious secondary growth. Cancer cells have the ability to lie dormant, sometimes for many years. You could think of them as seeds which are waiting for the right conditions before they start growing. It is this ability of cancer cells to lie hidden and dormant which makes it very difficult to know whether we have completely got rid of every cancer cell. The only real test is the passage of time—we must wait until every hidden cancer cell would have started to grow and make its presence obvious. This length of time differs for different types of cancer. With some cancers we can be very confident of a cure after only two years free of any signs of disease; in others, secondary growths can still develop twenty or more years later.


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2009 at 12:08 pm and is filed under Cancer. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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