Do Biopsies Spread Cancer?

Cancer is almost always diagnosed by biopsy, a surgical procedure that removes tissue samples from tumors.

The samples are viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to determine the presence and type of cancer. Studies are proving that biopsies can indeed spread cancer. Even a needle aspiration can leave ‘tracks’ of cancer cells. As it becomes common knowledge that biopsies spread cancer, many patients are looking for safer options for testing and treatment. And over half a million US citizens travel out of the country for medical treatment each year.

UD doctors routinely recommend biopsies to diagnose cancer. PET and CT scans usually follow. All of these tests can harm the patient. All cells are surrounded by interstitial fluid. This fluid drains into the lymph system through lymph channels, to the upper left chest, where the major lymphatic channel drains directly into a blood vessel. When a scalpel or needle invades tissue with cancer cells, there will be some bleeding, spilling cancer cells into the blood vessels or the lymph system via the interstitial fluid. Once a few of the billions of cancer cells break away and enter the bloodstream, they travel to distant organs and start to grow. This process is called ‘seeding’. The dangerously high amount of radiation in PET and CT scans damages normal cells, which produce abnormal cells when they divide, and those abnormal cells can become malignant.

When preforming prostate biopsies, doctors often aspirate cells from 30 different samples. Thirty chances for cancer to spread. While needle aspirations are safer than surgical biopsy, there are still dangers. According to Bloomberg News, patients having prostate needle biopsies are seeing an increasing number of anti-biotic resistant infections, such as E. coli. Two of every 100 men undergoing prostate biopsy will develop sepsis, a potentially lethal blood infection. Another study showed that 9 of 100,000 men who tested negative for cancer died within a month of their biopsy.

Breast biopsy complications can include pain, swelling, bleeding, and drainage from the biopsy site, infection and false positive results, leading to unnecessary treatments.

Doctors and researchers have noted that biopsy of a tumor can cause seeding, or spread of cancer cells along the path of the needle track at the biopsy site. Author and health researcher Karl Loren has documented 73 cases of seeding from biopsies causing metastasis on his website, KarlLoren.com.

Dr. Vincent Gammill, Center for the Study of Natural Oncology in Solana Beach, California, presented a case of a woman who had successfully treated her breast cancer naturally since 1994. Last year, her conventional oncologist convinced her that she was a fool to refuse a needle biopsy. She now has new tumors at each of the puncture sites.

“I rarely see distant metastasis until after a biopsy – and then it grows rapidly everywhere, especially in the bones,” Gammill said.

In 2011, researchers for Mayo Clinic College of Medicine reported that transperitoneal biopsy of cancer of the bile duct is associated with a higher rate of peritoneal metastasis and they recommend the procedure not be performed if a curative method exists.

While conventional medical doctors must follow AMA protocol, many are questioning the wisdom of biopsies. And as patients become more educated, they are beginning to question the need for invasive and sometimes dangerous tests. There are tumor marker blood tests, ultrasounds, sonograms and MRIs that can also determine the presence of a tumor without risking the spread of cancer or infections. Patients who travel outside the country for safer testing and treatment are taking responsibility for their own healthcare.

Surprisingly, many alternative health centers outside the states still require biopsies. Some small private clinics in Mexico do not. These clinics offer tumor marker testing, ultrasounds and whole body thermography instead.

Today patients are educated in a way that was not possible before the use of computers. Patients can do their own research and learn about the risks and side effects of treatments and procedures, and get a clear understanding of what is involved before they commit to treatment. The more patients learn, the better choices they can make.

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Posted in: Blog, Mexican Cancer Clinics

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