There isn't one solid number for how many organs we have in the human body. It varies depending on a person - women tend to have more organs than men, some people have an appendix while others do not, ect. BUT scientists have recently determined there is a "new" organ that we all have and may explain the spread of cancer. This is potentially a HUGE scientific advance in cancer research. But just what is this organ, you ask? That "new" organ is... the interstitium!
If you have ever taken an anatomy class, I'm sure you have heard this term, but I don't expect you to remember what it is. Basically, the interstitium is a layer of connective tissue, kind of like skin, that surrounds pretty much every internal organ.
Scientists have known about the interstitium for years, believing it was just another layer of connective tissue. However, with recent examinations and new imaging procedures, scientists have begun to look at the tissue different. They have found functional proteins and fluid-filled sacs in the interstitial tissues that they have never observed before. These new discovers are what makes scientists believe that the interstitium is more than just a connective layer of tissue... it's actually an organ!
The coolest part of this discovery is the potential advance in cancer research and treatment. By surrounding the majority of our organs, the interstitium works to "connect" them. This could explain how cancer is spread to organs that are not adjacent. Perhaps cancer travels to other organs through the interstitial fluid.
There is a lot more research that needs to be conducted to observe how the interstitium affects other parts of the body. However, these initial findings are impressive! Let's hope that discoveries can help researches find the cure to cancer or at least an end to its spreading!