How Does Metastatic Cancer Form in The Body?

  • FDA Disclaimer
    The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. Learn More
  • Affliliate Disclosure
    In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site: Many of the links on are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link. Learn More
  • Privacy Policy
    Please read the Privacy Policy carefully before you start to use By using or by clicking to accept or agree to Terms of Use when this option is made available to you, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by the Privacy Policy. Learn More

metastatic cancer _cover

How Does Metastatic Cancer Form?

Metastatic cancer is a late stage development of a disease process that often developed silently for many years.  When a tumor is first detectable, it can be benign. Benign means gentle, or in the case of cancer, not harmful.  So how does metastatic cancer form in the body and are there things we can do to prevent this?

Most cancers begin this way:  as clumps of rapidly dividing cells that do not otherwise interfere with any other processes of the body. The problem begins when the tumor becomes invasive and starts releasing non-adhesive cancer cells that eventually travel throughout the body.

The process of cancer becoming decentralized and spreading throughout the body is referred to as metastasis and marks a significant point at which cancer becomes much more harmful to the body. This article will review the process of metastatic cancer and provide insight for natural ways to control it based on the specific components of this process highlighted in this review.

CANCERCELLS_Normal and Cancer Cell Characteristics_2

What Leads to Spreading of Cancer Cells?

Before cancer is able to spread, it must elicit changes in its surrounding environment that inhibits the body’s defenses against it. The two major changes that occur before metastasis can begin are secretion of connective tissue-dissolving enzymes and the formation of blood vessels on the tumor (angiogenesis). This combination of events breaks down the connective tissue surrounding the tumor while providing a physical route for metastatic cancer cells to spread.

Cells that belong to certain tissues are held in place by adhesive proteins called integrins. Not only do these proteins hold cells in place but they also regulate the permeability of a tissue by blocking bacteria, viruses, and even cancer cells from entering. Beyond their structural function, evidence suggests that these proteins play a major role in cell communication and can influence several key factors of cancer development (1).

Connective Tissue-Dissolving Enzymes

Cancer cells, as readily adaptive cells, have developed a chemical mechanism with which to disrupt the function of integrins. It has been found that cancer cells actually release a set of enzymes called metalloproteinases (MMP) that have the ability to dissolve connective proteins such as integrins and thereby degrade the surrounding tissue.

Specifically, MMP-2 and MMP-9 have been the primary focus of research in this process area of interest.  Cancers with high levels of these enzymes have been shown to be much more malignant, meaning metastasis is likely to occur and at a much higher rate.

MMPs were first thought to be solely responsible for the degradation of the cells surrounding a tumor but further research uncovered that these enzymes actually influence several factors in cell communication pathways and even play a role in inflammation responses as well (2).

Reducing Connective Tissue BreakDown

Because these enzymes are a major contributing factor contributing to metastasis, it is important to implement strategies to better regulate MMP activity. Natural compounds that have shown beneficial in this regard are EGCG, curcumin, luteolin, and quercetin (3). Also, since cell communication and inflammation are keys to controlling cancer in general, implementing these strategies provides broad therapeutic benefit.

In addition to inhibiting the MMP enzymes mentioned, another more recent approach to prevent metastasis focuses on strengthening the tissues thereby increasing their resistance to being degraded. Nutrients that are important for promoting the integrity of tissues in the midst of high levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 are Vitamin C, Zinc, Magnesium, flavonoids and procyanidins.


Angiogenesis: Forming New Blood Vessels

Before cancer cells from a tumor can migrate into the bloodstream and spread throughout the body, they must first leave the confines of the tumor. While the MMP enzymes degrade the surrounding tissue and increase its permeability, the tumor begins to form unique blood vessels that serve two major functions.

First, they supply the tumor with blood and nutrients needed to continue growing. Secondly, they act as transportation for cancer cells to leave the tumor. The blood vessels surrounding a tumor are unique because they lack structural integrity to a degree that makes them extremely permeable. This makes it easy for cancer cells to leave the tumor and create a metastatic cancer growth.

Factors Involved with Angiogenesis

The structural integrity that is lacking in these new blood vessels may be due to the upregulation of MMP enzymes that are also responsible for degrading surrounding tissues. This makes the importance of implementing strategies to control MMP expression all the more compelling.

Important contributing factors toward angiogenesis include chronic inflammation, hypoxia (low oxygen), and oxidative stress (4). By controlling these factors (easily managed via accurately planned diet) angiogenesis can be prevented, controlled, or possibly reversed. Controlling these factors will, in addition, effectively lower the aggressiveness of the cancer.

Minimizing Inflammation

Systemic inflammation has a high direct correlation with the rate of metastasis. The biological markers, cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase (COX and LOX), have been measured specifically to show this. COX and LOX are two enzymes in the body involved in an inflammatory chemical pathway called the eicosanoid pathway.

Studies have shown that lowering the levels of COX and LOX enzymes through anti-inflammatory protocols can have a significant positive impact in cancer conditions (5). The flavonoids apigenin and kaempferol each have the ability to inhibit both enzymes. Additionally, curcumin, berberine and garcinol have all demonstrated the ability to inhibit several inflammatory pathways including the production of COX and LOX enzymes (6).

Activating the NRF2 Pathway

Because the metastatic cancer growth is largely influenced by the inflammation and oxidation of its environment, one of the most powerful strategies to control metastasis may be upregulation of the NRF2 signaling pathway (7). Doing so not only increases antioxidant defenses and lowers inflammation, but also has the added benefit of improving systemic detoxification, resulting in lower amounts of free radicals due to toxin buildup.

Four natural compounds that have been researched and touted for their notable ability to support the NRF2 signaling pathway are EGCG, Curcumin, sulforphane, and resveratrol. That is why I have developed NRF2 power to provide all of these critical nutrients in clinical doses. This is something I recommend for any patient of mine seeking to support their body’s defenses against cancer.


Early Detection, Safely

Another thing to consider when on one’s journey to heal cancer is to detect it early. For this reason, many people subject themselves to diagnostic procedures on a yearly basis that expose their bodies to harmful radiation that can accumulate over time and actually end up promoting cancer growth.

This is why I recommend, and use with my patients, an extremely safe, full-body, cancer detection procedure called thermography. This screening technique can assess the whole body at once for signs of inflammation and is a very effective method for detecting cancer. This method does not expose the body to any harmful radiation and can accurately detect cancer development years before traditional methods can. As a preventative measure I recommend having this kind of procedure done yearly.


Final Thoughts

Similar to any chronic disease, cancer development is a product of the immediate environment of its origin. Many of the epigenetic (gene influencing) factors that lead to cancer growth and eventually metastasis, can be significantly controlled by the way one alters the internal environment of the body.

The safest and most effective way to do this is by supporting the body nutritionally. The strategies outlined in this article have been provided to educate and empower you on your healing journey and may be used to help effectively control metastatic cancer development.

We’ve all been told that cancer is a death sentence… but well over 100 of the leading alternative health experts want you to know the truth!

Cancer does not have to be a death sentence!

This is exciting news!

As our knowledge of cancer evolves, we have more cancer survivors and alternative health experts challenging what we used to believe as true. And this is a good thing.

I was honored when my friends Ty and Charlene Bollinger asked me to share my experience, expertise, and knowledge in The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest docu-series.

Since it first aired, this thought-provoking cancer documentary has been seen and shared by millions of people. The ripple effect has caused a massive, life-changing movement as people start to know the truth about cancer.

I’m happy to see that cancer is no longer seen as a death sentence and people are now empowered to treat it and beat it, naturally.

But we need more people to know what we know.

So, Ty and Charlene at The Truth About Cancer have decided to make the docu-series FREE to watch starting October 9th.

Why is it free? They don’t want money to get in the way of this powerful material getting into the hands of those who need it most. So, it’s FREE to see (but only for a limited time! So, you need to be quick.)

Please be my guest, click here to start watching. (It won’t be FREE for long, so please be quick.)

If you like what I usually share, I know you’re going to love this!

P.S. Please share this message with your friends, family or anyone else you know who’s been impacted by cancer or chronic illness. You may very well change their lives. The docu-series starts on October 9.

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Sun, C.-C., Qu, X.-J., & Gao, Z.-H. (2014). Integrins: players in cancer progression and targets in metastatic cancer therapy. Anti-Cancer Drugs, 25(10), 1107–1121. PMID: 25010394
2. Kessenbrock, K., Plaks, V., & Werb, Z. (2010). Matrix Metalloproteinases: Regulators of the Tumor Microenvironment. Cell, 141(1), 52–67. PMID: 20371345
3. Bachmeier, B. E., Iancu, C. M., Jochum, M., & Nerlich, A. G. (2005). Matrix metalloproteinases in metastatic cancer: comparison of known and novel aspects of their inhibition as a therapeutic approach. Expert Rev Anticancer Ther, 5(1), 149–163. PMID: 15757447
4. Granger DN, Senchenkova E. Inflammation and the Microcirculation. San Rafael (CA): Morgan & Claypool Life Sciences; 2010. Chapter 6, Angiogenesis. PMID: 21452440
5. Greene, E. R., Huang, S., Serhan, C. N., & Panigrahy, D. (2011). Regulation of inflammation in cancer by eicosanoids. Prostaglandins and Other Lipid Mediators, 96(1–4), 27–36. PMID: 21864702
6. Yarla, N. S., Bishayee, A., Sethi, G., Reddanna, P., Kalle, A. M., Dhananjaya, B. L., … Duddukuri, G. R. (2016). Targeting arachidonic acid pathway by natural products for cancer prevention and therapy. Seminars in Cancer Biology, 1–34. PMID: 26853158
7. Lee, J. H., Khor, T. O., Shu, L., Su, Z. Y., Fuentes, F., & Kong, A. N. T. (2013). Dietary phytochemicals and cancer prevention: Nrf2 signaling, epigenetics, and cell death mechanisms in blocking cancer initiation and progression. Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 137(2), 153–171. PMID: 23041058

Dr. Jockers

Dr. David Jockers is a doctor of natural medicine, functional nutritionist and corrective care chiropractor. He currently owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia. He has developed 6 revolutionary online programs with thousands of participants.



Let’s Improve Your Health Today!

When You Register For Free Today You Get Instant Access To:

  • Digestion and Energy Quickstart Guide
  • 10 Fat Burning Dessert Recipes
  • Premium Digital Newsletter




  1. Hello,
    My son is 23 yr old battling Hodgkins lymphoma for 2 1/2 yrs now, without chemo or radiation. He has already been to 2 clinics over this course of time, most recently in July. There has not been a drastic improvement and I still think we are missing something. There are so many choices out there to try, but our son can’t return to college or get a job because his energy level and immune system is not up to a point to tolerating stressful environments etc. Because you are a Christian and our son is too (he has an incredible testimony seeing Jesus 6 months before he became sick), i feel that you could lead us in the right direction.
    Your opinion would be truly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    LaDonna Jones 713-201-4124

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.