cancer's invasion equation: cracking read on the history and current state of our understanding of how cancer spreads.

Our primitive ability to predict whether cancer will become metastatic means for instance most patients are treated with chemotherapy even though we know only a fraction will benefit.

Our advances in detection have resulted in counter-intuitive increases in harm due to overdiagnosis - an extreme example of this is a South Korean obsession with thyroid cancer detection, which resulted in a fifteen-fold increase in the official incidence of thyroid cancer, yet the rate at which people died of thyroid cancer remained unchanged.

As early detection systems improve it appears the challenge of oncology is early prediction to determine whether what is detected even matters, and it appears the 'soil' of the host body is a significant factor in whether the 'seed' of cancer will take hold.