GMA News Online

Squeezing breasts can stop cancer, study suggests

December 20, 2012 6:23pm
Here's a relatively new way of preventing breast cancer: squeezing the breasts to guide the malignant breast cells to a normal growth pattern.
Scientists at the University of California in Berkeley said lab experiments that led to these results can provide leads to possible new treatments, MSN reported.
"People have known for centuries that physical force can influence our bodies. When we lift weights our muscles get bigger. The force of gravity is essential to keeping our bones strong. Here we show that physical force can play a role in the growth - and reversion - of cancer cells," said Gautham Venugopalan, a leading member of the research team.
The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
In the study, researchers grew malignant breast epithelial cells within a gel injected into flexible silicone chambers.
When the scientists applied compression to squash the cells during the first stages of cell growth, the squeezed malignant cells grew in a more normal way over time.
The cells even stopped growing when the breast tissue structure was formed, even when the compressive force was removed.
"Malignant cells have not completely forgotten how to be healthy; they just need the right cues to guide them back to a healthy growth pattern," said Venugopalan, a doctoral student.
In contrast, the non-compressed cells continued to display the uncontrolled growth that leads to cancer. — TJD, GMA News
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