Surgery – Biopsies Cause Metastasis – New Study finds



Walter Last

It is generally accepted in cancer research that the vast majority of patients or about 90% die from metastases or secondary tumours, and only a small minority from a primary tumour. Therefore it should be of great concern to therapists as well as patients that already more than 30 years ago it was conclusively shown that cancer surgery is the main cause of metastasis (Krokowski, see below). However, this research was completely ignored by the profession, it was just too awful to contemplate, and patients never got to know about it (1).

Since then more and more disturbing data and reviews have been published, the latest one is a comprehensive review by an international team of leading cancer researchers with the conclusion obvious from the title: Surgery Triggers Outgrowth of Latent Distant Disease in Breast Cancer: An Inconvenient Truth? (2).

Because of the undisputed status of the members of this team, their conclusions can no longer be ignored by the medical profession and cause much consternation, especially as the review is an open access publication. I expect that efforts are being made to prevent this information from becoming widespread public knowledge.

The review also found that future organ metastasis is independent of the size of the primary tumour and its apparent malignancy or the involvement of any lymph glands. Metastasis seems to depend mainly on the degree of stress for the tumour and the patient, growth stimulation due to the wound-healing mechanism initiated by surgery as well as on the quality of the immune system.

Furthermore, as the following examples show, surgery is not the only medical procedure that increases metastasis. In recent years there has been a steady stream of research showing that basically all medical interventions can trigger metastasis while a growing number of natural remedies and methods tend to inhibit metastasis.

Recent research findings

While most cancer research is funded by drug companies with the aim of increasing their profits, there are now also a growing number of independent studies that show the negative side of conventional cancer therapy. Here is a small selection of interesting research findings.

Conflict of Interest in Cancer Research: This analysis shows why it is so difficult to get to the truth in medical research. Conflicts of interest exist in a considerable number of cancer research articles published in medical journals, and there is a high degree of financial connections between researchers and pharmaceutical companies. This produces biased results with a more favourable outcome for investigated drugs and technologies (3).

Experts want to stop screening: Screening for breast and prostate cancer has not brought a decline in deaths from these diseases. Instead screening programs lead to tumour over-detection and over-treatment (4).

Morphine stimulates cancer and shortens life: Morphine has been used in cancer treatment for two centuries. Now research shows that it stimulates the growth and spread of cancer cells and shortens the survival time of patients (5).

Diagnostic X-rays cause cancer: It has been estimated that diagnostic X-rays over a lifetime cause up to 3.2% additional cancers in a population. Germany ranks among the countries with the highest X-ray cancer rates while with 0.6% the U.K. and Poland have the lowest lifetime risk, in Australia it is 1.3% (6).

Radiation therapy damages bones: The scientific world has been shaken by a report that a single therapeutic dose of radiation can cause appreciable bone loss. Years later osteoporosis, bone necrosis or bone cancer may develop (7).

More radiation danger: Exposure to ionizing radiation is known to result in genetic damage that can make cells cancerous. Now a new study has revealed that radiation can alter the environment surrounding cells so that future cells are more likely to become cancerous (8).

Chemotherapy promotes metastasis: Taxol, a chemotherapy drug, causes cancer cell micro-tentacles to grow longer and tumour cells to reattach faster. If treated with taxol before surgery to shrink the primary tumour, levels of circulating tumour cells go up 1,000 to 10,000 fold, potentially increasing metastasis (9).

Tamoxifen increases aggressive tumours: Tamoxifen use for breast cancer patients decreases their risk of developing a more common and less dangerous type of second breast cancer but has a more than four-fold increased risk of causing a more aggressive and deadly tumour (10).

Biopsies cause metastases: Biopsies may actively encourage the spread of metastases. Needle biopsies caused a 50% increase of metastatic spread to nearby lymph glands of breast tumours as compared to lumpectomies (11).

Stress promotes cancer: Stress hormones protect cancer cells from self destruction, promote the spread and growth of tumours directly as well as indirectly by weakening the immune system and encouraging new blood vessel growth. Patient stress  was associated with faster disease progression (12).

Stress kills: Stress hormones are released in high amounts with fear and during surgery. They greatly impair the immune system and promote the spread of metastases. Blocking stress hormones increased long-term post-operative cancer survival rates in animal models by 200-300 percent (13).

Breast cancer metastasis after hormone replacement therapy: Previously it had been shown that hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of breast cancer. Now a new study has found that it also increases the chance of the cancer metastasizing, or spreading to the lymph nodes (14).

Sharp drop in breast cancer rates: In recent years breast cancer rates dropped sharply due to a corresponding sharp drop in the use of hormone replacement therapy (15).

Ernst KrokowskiErnst H. Krokowski, M.D., Ph.D. (1926 – 1985) was a German Professor of Radio­logy. His research provided the first convincing proof that cancer surgery triggers metastasis. While many of his articles on different subjects are still on public record, his research on the relationship between surgery and metastases is difficult to find, even in German. His only paper on this subject in English is not listed in PubMed, and the journal in which it was published does no longer exist (16). Because of the obvious importance of this research I have now made this article available on my website (1). Also a related lecture in German can still be downloaded (17).

It is now beyond question that certain diagnostic or surgical techniques might cause metastases. According to an analysis of metastatic growth rates, these procedures were responsible for 30% (in hypernephroma) to 90% (in sarcoma and seminoma) of the diagnosed metastases. Numerous animal experiments and clinical observations have proven this, and it is now necessary to alter the accepted idea of cancer therapy. Metastasis prophylaxis must come before the previously used and effective surgical and radiation treatments. The implementation of such a prophylactic is suggested in three different ways.

With radiological imaging he measured the growth rates of 2,893 metastatic tumours in 568 patients with different cancers. From these he derived the following conclusions:


Metastases arise only from primary tumours or from their local recurrences; they disseminate at one time or only in a few shoves.


Lymph node metastases behave biologically differ­ently from organ metastases [lymph node metastases are relatively harmless, organ metastases are very dangerous].


The more than 3,000 growth curves (including exper­imental data from animals) can be described by a growth formula. The growth curves of a very large number of meta­stases, from 30 to 90 percent depending on the type of tumour, can be traced back to the time of the first treatment.


Here are some key observations from his article:


Inflated success rates [of cancer surgery] are the result of either selective composition of the groups of patients studied or of correspondingly adapted, i.e., corrected, statistics.


Cures related to the same stage and tumour size have not improved in the last 20 to 25 years [more recent findings state that the cure rate has not significantly increased since the 1970’s, which means that overall there was no significant improvement since the 1950’s].


Untreated postmenopausal women with breast cancer live longer than medically treated patients.


Metasta­ses occur sooner in fast-growing tumours than in slow-growing tumours. This suggests that these metastases begin their development at the same time as the first treatment.


Present cancer surgery may be regarded as a second Semmelweis phenomenon! (Dr Semmelweis campaigned for surgeons to wash and disinfect  their hands to stop them killing women during childbirth).


Manipulation of a tumour, such as severe palpation and pressure [mammography!], biopsy or surgery, results in a sudden increase of tumour cells released into the blood with a higher probability of metastasis.


The connection between surgery and formation of metastases was particularly impressive in single observed cases: in a patient with a sarcoma, formation of metastases occurred after surgery of the primary tumour and each time after four further surgeries of locally recurrent tumours.


It has long been taught in medicine that a melanoma should not be injured since lesions would cause an almost explosion-like growth of metastases.


Not only disturbance of a tumour but also unrelated surgery at a different location can trigger metastasis.


The larger a tumour becomes the slower its growth, and some observations suggest that it eventually stops growing.


Radiation and chemotherapy of the tumour before and after surgery were both unsuccessful.


The chance to decisively improve the cure quota occurs only once during the course of cancer, namely at the time of the first treatment.


An Inconvenient Truth?


The following review cites a steady stream of studies showing that it is better for patients to leave tumours alone. But that is not in the interest of the cancer industry for which invasive treatment is the financial life-blood. There were always new drugs and new ways to combine chemotherapy and radiotherapy with surgery, and claims that now a way has been found to prolong the lives of  patients. With new methods of early detection and small, precancerous, non-invasive and dormant tumours classified as cancer—tumours that would not have become malignant if left alone—some statistics indeed showed improved cure rates. This has now changed with a comprehensive review by this international team of leading cancer researchers.

Michael Retsky, Romano Demicheli, William Hrushesky, Michael Baum and Isaac Gukas

Review:Surgery Triggers Outgrowth of Latent Distant Disease in Breast Cancer: An Inconvenient Truth?

Cancers 2010, 2(2), 305-337; doi:10.3390/cancers2020305

Received: 9 March 2010; in revised form: 25 March 2010 / Accepted: 26 March 2010 / Published: 30 March 2010

Here is the Abstract of Surgery Triggers Outgrowth of Latent Distant Disease in Breast Cancer: An Inconvenient Truth? (2):

We look back on the 14 years of effort that have passed since we first saw bimodal relapse patterns in two breast cancer databases from various nations. With the widely accepted continuous tumor growth theory, these data were inexplicable. We proposed that the growth of metastatic breast cancer frequently includes periods of transient dormancy at both the single cell phase and the avascular micrometastasis phase in order to explain these data. Additionally, we proposed that primary tumor removal surgery frequently ends dormancy, speeding up relapses. Given that more than half of all metastatic relapses proceed in this way, it appears that these iatrogenic episodes are quite common. If this is the case, clinical data should provide adequate and convincing support. Reviewing the breast cancer paradigm from various historical, clinical, and scientific angles, we take into account dormancy and surgery-driven escape from dormancy as well as the implications of these findings. While dormancy can be detected in these various data, the sudden, synchronized escape from dormancy after primary surgery stands out as particularly noteworthy. We propose a new paradigm for early stage breast cancer in light of our findings. Additionally, we propose a novel therapy that stabilizes and maintains dormancy as opposed to the current approach, which aims to eradicate all cancer cells.

The bimodal relapse patterns referred to in this abstract mean that there are two time peaks when metastases appear after surgery for the primary tumour. The first peak is after 18 months, then follows a dip at 50 months and a broad peak at 60 months with a long tail extending for 15 to 20  years. About 50 to 80% of all relapses are in the first peak. Patients with large tumours relapse mainly in the first peak while with smaller tumours relapses are equal in both peaks.


There is also a structure in the first peak. Relapses in the first 10 months are due to micro-metastases that pre-exist with the primary tumour and that are stimulated to grow. This mode is most common for premenopausal patients with positive lymph nodes, over 20% of whom relapse. The rest of the first peak is due to single cells that are initially dormant but are induced to divide as a result of surgery. The second peak is then due to single cancer cells that have been seeded during surgery and are subsequently gradually developing into metastases.


This dynamic also accounts for the persistent excess mortality of premenopausal women in the third year of long-term mammography screening trials: metastases appear after 10 months and the time between relapse and death in breast cancer is approximately 2 years, which then results in death about 3 years after screening. I remember a young and apparently healthy patient who just had her breast removed after a mammogram showed a tiny tumour. She was confident that she had been saved because it had been caught so early, but 3 years later she was dead.


Other interesting evidence in this paper is from a Danish report: forensic autopsies show that 39% of women aged 40–49 have hidden and dormant breast cancer, while the lifetime risk of clinical breast cancer in Denmark is only 8%. This means that only about 20% of positive mammograms are for real and would have progressed to a clinical stage. The rest are either completely harmless and boost the medical cure rate, or in others subsequent surgery does trigger metastases and these women eventually die due to their treatment.


Here are some more highlights from this article:


Getting women screened with mammography is a major goal of some organizations so this information (about possible harm) is withheld as its release will be contrary to achieving their goal.


During most of the 20th century radical mastectomy was the accepted therapy. Unfortunately, only 23% of patients survived 10 years. The natural response to this failure was even more radical surgery.


The next step by medical oncologists was similar to that by surgeons: if a little doesn‘t work then try a lot! Needless to say the high dose chemotherapy with bone marrow rescue was a failure and the least said about this sorry episode in the history of breast cancer the better.


Pathological and autopsy studies have suggested that most of the occult tumours in breast (and prostate cancers) may never reach clinical significance.


Cancer cells and micro-metastases remain in a state of dormancy until some signal, perhaps the act of surgery or other adverse life event (emotional shock according to Dr Hamer) stimulates them into fast growth. The act of wounding the patient creates a favorable environment for the sudden transfer of a micro-metastasis from a latent to an active phase.


A large primary tumour inhibits the development and growth of any distant metastases! Removal of the primary results in the establishment and rapid growth of large numbers of latent metastases, the majority of which would have remained dormant or would have disappeared if the primary tumour had not been removed. The growth-stimulating postoperative effects on pre-existing latent metastases are due to removal of the primary tumour.


Other cancers also need to be carefully examined. There are data showing similar activity especially in melanoma and osteosarcoma.





  1., 30 March 2010


  1., 11 May 2009


  1., 24 March 2010,, 22 October 2009, and 22 June 2010


  1., 18 November 2009


  1., 30 January 2004


  1., 29 October 2006


  1., 13 May 2010


  1., 15 March 2010


10., 26 August 2009


11., 16 April 2005


12., 13 April 2010


13., 27 February 2008


14., 07 May 2010


15., 8 January 2010


16.Krokowski, E.H.: Is the Current Treatment of Cancer Self-Limiting in the Extent of its Success? J Int Acad Preventive Medicine, 6 (1) 23 – 39, 1979


17. –  Krokowski, E,H.: Verändertes Konzept der Krebsbehandlung. Lecture at the ‘Kongress der DEUTSCHEN AKADEMIE FÜR MEDIZINISCHE FORTBILDUNG 1978 in Kassel’


18., 15 March 2009


19., 19 April 2005


20., 15 September 2009


21., 10 March 2009


22., 10 March 2010


23.,24 February 2006


24., 14 October 2009


25., 6 May 2010


26., 20 April 2010


27., 4 August 2009


28., 1 February 2007, and also, 9 May 2010


29., 27 April 2009


30., 11 June 2009


31., 6 May 2010


32.Last, Walter: The Holistic Solution to Overcoming Cancer. NEXUS 2008; 16(1); also at




34.Websites:, or Books: Overcoming Cancer, and Heal Yourself the Natural Way