What factors would you consider when thinking about the spread of cancers throughout the body?

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Many of the Oxbridge interview questions are not directly trying to test your knowledge, but instead your approach to tackling questions so explain your reasoning as you go through- it may even spark some more ideas!

For example, you could start by saying the cancer cells could travel in the blood stream- therefore it would be a wise to study the circulatory system for the region of interest.  Similarly the lymph drainage of the area could direct the flow of cancer cells- lymph nodes could act like a net that collects the cells.

Then consider the reasons that might affect how likely the cells are to migrate- hormone changes, characteristics of the tissue it began growing in, drug interactions, changes to the immune system.

Finally you could consider the other areas of the body that may be most likely to facilitate cancer growth.  For example some tumours release chemicals that prepare other tissues to accept migrating cancer cells- if the chemical is known then it would be wise to look at tissue areas that have receptors for that chemical.

Sarah B. GCSE Biology tutor, A Level Biology tutor, Mentoring -Person...

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