Numerous zinc supplementation trials have shown that increasing zinc intake can realize a wide range of health benefits where diets are inadequate for this micronutrient. Zinc ionophores are a chemical species that reversibly binds ions. Zinc ionophores lead to a rapid increase in intracellular zinc levels. ... See MoreSee Less


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How does the body die from cancer

July 12, 2015
Est. Reading: 4 minutes

How does the body die from cancer?How does the body die from cancer

When a cancer cell is killed or dies, an immune response occurs. It means many things that are involved with the immune system are happening. One of the body's many partners in the immune system is the macrophage cell.

A macrophage cell can detect dead cells through smell, much like a scavenger bird detects dead animals. Whenever dead cells reach the part of the bloodstream patrolled by a macrophage, the macrophages surround them and convert dead cancer cells into easily removed components called "Efferocytosis."

All living (human) cells have a "cell membrane" around their outside that separates them from each other and all the other stuff in our tissues. Also, cells have "organelles" inside them (a nucleus, mitochondria, ribosomes, lysosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, etc.), and membranes surround some structures.

The membranes are critical because they keep everything in its place. Imagine a zip-lock bag that keeps stuff separated in your picnic cooler. The membranes around the lysosomes are vital because they contain the enzymes that cells use to digest their food.

Okay, so what happens after a cell dies?

(There are two main ways a cell can die ~ necrosis or apoptosis). Regardless of what causes a cell to die, whether it's a lack of oxygen, physical damage, chemical poisoning, energy starvation, nutrient overload, etc., the outcome will be the same.

All the biochemical pathways that allowed the cell to perform its normal functions and what held it together physically will stop when it dies. Those membranes around the outside of the cell and on the inside (keeping all those innards separated) will become leaky. That leakiness will allow enzymes and chemicals inside the cell to leak out, and other chemicals and fluids that are supposed to stay outside the cell will pass in.

The zip-lock baggies full of enzymes (the lysosomes) will ooze, and their contents will begin to digest the cell's insides. The chromosomes arranged so nicely in the cell's nucleus will break into small pieces. Proteins in the cell (and there are lots of proteins) will "denature." The chemical bonds in the proteins will fall apart, causing them to lose their standard shape and get all wadded up. (Think of what happens when you fry an egg. The denaturation of all that protein is ongoing, and the lipid membranes will continue to degrade.

An Immune Response Begins

While all this happens inside the cell, the stuff leaking out will attract scavengers. In this case, the scavengers are white blood cells whose job is to eat (literally) and digest dead things such as dead cells and cell debris. Two main types of cells do that: neutrophils and macrophages called "phagocytes."

The neutrophils almost always come from the blood and reach dead cells first. Neutrophils squeeze through the blood vessel walls and move to where the dead cells are. Macrophages take a little longer to arrive and come from the blood, but there are also lots of macrophage-type cells already in the body's tissues (in addition to those in the blood). They're like resident garbage collectors. Chemical signals released by the dying/dead cells attract neutrophils and macrophages.

Once the neutrophils and macrophages (the phagocytes) get to where the dead cells are, they start eating them.

By then, not much will be left of the dead cells except random chunks and hollowed-out (digested) bags filled with molecular slush. So, it's usually not difficult for the phagocytes to completely eat and digest that debris. Everything gets recycled: all the proteins and sugars, the nucleic acids, the energy-containing components, all of it gets reused by other cells.

Nothing goes to waste. Dead cancer cells are as tasty to a phagocyte as any other type of dead cell.
Once macrophages have digested the dead cells, they cannot "re-enter the bloodstream" because digestion breaks down the chunks into individual chemical components (amino acids, lipids, sugars, minerals).

The dead cells will not pass into the intestinal tract for disposal. All that stuff in the lower intestinal tract is stuff we've eaten but have not digested and absorbed, like plant fibers (cellulose, lignin) and intestinal bacteria. The cells in the wall of the intestine will add a little mucus and some water to slide things along more quickly. And, as those intestinal cells grow old and die, they will be sloughed off into the intestinal contents.

Dead cancer cells will not get flushed down your toilet, just unwanted waste from the dead cancer cells. It happens every day to dead normal cells and dead cancer cells that are moved from the immune system through the intestine, kidney, and liver as a result of "Slough" (A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, sore, or inflammation).

There are several new cancer cell treatments showing promising results. The developer believes the CC formula can transport highly available zinc and copper to target cancers or any mutated cell and kill only those cells, leaving the healthy normal cells surrounding the disease functioning without disruption. For more information, visit our website.

A Journey Through The Healing Process

how does the body die from cancer

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19 comments on “How does the body die from cancer”

  1. My dog has Hemangiosarcoma. When the tumor is detached from the blood supply, will the blood filled tumor rupture and my poor dog will bleed to death? Don’t want the precarious tumor to rupture or bleed out too quickly.

    1. Hi Lorraine, most of the time they are small blood vessels that are severing from the tumor over time, not all at once. A bandage applied should stop the bleeding, this may occur several times until the tumor is completely dead from the treatment you are using. The only other method is the surgical removal of the tumor.

  2. Hi my mum has squamous cell carcinoma on her gum, she is very old she tried radiotherapy but she couldn't take the treatment. She is now doing natural remedies boosting her immunity. I see the tumour becoming bumpy as if shedding off. Are the cells dying or this is something else.

    1. Hello sorry, your Mum is going through this. It is hard to tell without a lot of information is the honest answer. Squamous is a deep growing type of skin cancer, typically twice the size of what you see on the surface of the skin. Depending on what all she is doing the bumps may be part of an eschar effect. This is discussed here http://cancercelltreatment.com/2014/03/03/what-causes-skin-cancer-and-how-do-i-know-its-cancer/
      Mohs surgery may be the best approach if it has progressed extensively.

  3. Hi, I started chemo a few weeks ago. My tumours have visibly become small however my ca153 marker has gone up.
    I read your post regarding dead cancer cells being eaten up and not entering the blood stream again.
    Is this always the case?

    With gratitude

    1. Hi Joanna, tumor volume decrease is a good sign, it is common that ca15-3 markers and other markers go up during treatments. Here are some studies on the topic https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28457854/
      The dead cells cancer or good cells that have died during the treatment go through the process described in the article. Circulating Cancer cells are a different topic, they are typically outliers that are far from the actual tumors. There is a lot to this disease, it is best to discuss these questions with your care providers, they have all the information that is specific to your situation. Getting answers is not always easy, so educating is also good to help with the understanding of the response. Stay strong, no fear, and fight!

  4. My 4 month old daughter has a brain tumor, part of that tumor has been resected and she is now on a targeted gene fusion treatment. Her right side bone flap is still missing but we are scheduled to have it placed back in a couple weeks. Being that her bone flap isn’t intact, she experiences “swelling” from time to time. Nothing too serious to where her surgeon is concerned BUT I am wondering if it may be from the break down of tumor? When her tumor breaks down and dies off, would it turn into a liquid thus causing more fluid in her head? Then appear swollen for a short period of time and then decrease again? The “swelling” doesn’t last long, maybe a day or two. I am just curious to know if it might be from the breakdown of cells? Going from mass to liquid?

    1. Hi Brooke, sorry your loved one is going through this. I believe that the bone flap was left out to allow for swelling to occur during the treatment, this may help with the effects that occur from the inflammation (swelling). Inflammation occurs from many treatments if they are providing efficacy against the cancer cells. Keeping in simple language, when a good cell or cancer cell dies for just about any reason it triggers an immune response, to remove that dead cell. Theses cells are broken down by the immune system in most cases a liquid (white blood cells) and carried to the lymphatic nodes. Some times there is scar tissue that may remain or the time it takes for the dead to be removed is dependent upon the location of the "tumor" or the immune strength of the individual. There are many factors that should be discussed with your physician to plan additional items to help with strengthing the immune. Hydration and movement are 2 key factors to help the lymphatic system do its job. Bless your loved one with the outcome we all desire.

  5. Does this work the same way of a person is not doing surgery/chemo/radiation? Does using natural methods cause the same type of cell die off? Thanks so much!

    1. Yes, but all therapies are not the same conventional or naturopathic, there are many things to take into consideration, the strength of the immune, hydration, health profile, etc. All have a correlation to die off (Herx) and the removal of the dead cells.

  6. My husband has squaoma cell cancer in his sinuses, ear and jaw he is on radiation and just started chemo. There is stuff coming out of his sinuses, is this normal?

    1. Yes, Unfortunately. Once massive cell death occurs from therapies such as radiation and chemo both cancer cells and healthy cells will die. This triggers an immune response in an effort to remove the dead cells, excretion and drainage are one of several methods the body uses.

  7. Can dead cancer cells be used in cancer detection like if we inject dead cancer cells inside body then it will make antibodies against it ,and if any carcinogen or oncogenic virus enter then those antibodies will be able to fight and kill them. is it possible?

  8. My dog has a tumor in his mouth. He's experiencing lots of bleeding. The blood is very tissuey. He just had immunotherapy. Is the tissue a reaction from the immunotherapy and the cancer dying?

    1. Hello Ellen. Different immune system responses can be triggered by different types of immunotherapies, and what you describe may be one of them. We would suggest to consult directly with your dog's health provider for specific information on the types of reactions that particular immunotherapy could cause.

  9. wonderful article. Thanks for this info. I am happy to read & I confirm that the same thing is happening with my friend. His tumor is reducing & lot of unknown things are coming out through his stool.

    1. Hi Ravindra. Thank you for the update, we are very happy to hear the CC treatment is helping your friend. Stool immune system responses are important to monitor and just another indication we are getting rid of all the baddies inside.

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