Squeezing Breasts Can Help Fight Breast Cancer
New research has found that applying physical force on ones breasts can prevent malignant cancer cells.
Researchers at the University of California Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presented their findings Monday at the Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco.
People have known for centuries that physical force can influence our bodies, research team member Gautham Venugopalan said in a statement. 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.
Squeezing breasts can help guide cells back into a normal growth pattern, stopping the out-of-control growth of malignant cancer cells.
We are showing that tissue organization is sensitive to mechanical inputs from the environment at the beginning stages of growth and development, principal investigator Daniel Fletcher, professor of bioengineering at Berkeley and faculty scientist at the Berkeley Lab, said in a statement. An early signal, in the form of compression, appears to get these malignant cells back on the right track.
To conduct the study, researchers grew malignant breast epithelial cells that were injected into silicone chambers. Once injected inside the flexible chambers, researchers began to apply physical force in the first stages of cell development.
Why Do Some People Think A Biopsy Could Spread Cancer
Tumor seeding or needle seeding refers to rare occurrences when the needle inserted into a tumor during a biopsy dislodges and spreads cancer cells. It is sometimes called needle track or tract seeding because the cancer cells grow along the needles track.
In the past, tumor seeding has been difficult to study, and evidence relied on older case reports, which are descriptions of a persons medical history. But the idea gained some attention when former urologist Ronald Wheeler published a book and practiced medicine that renounced biopsies for men with prostate cancer. However, the state of Florida revoked Wheelers medical license in 2017, and he was arrested for defrauding patients and practicing medicine without a license.
Breast Infection Or Mastitis
Breast infection, or mastitis, can occur at any age, but is most common in breastfeeding women. Early symptoms of mastitis include:
- Breast pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Painful lump
Infection can be confused with breast engorgement, but this is not usually accompanied by prominent skin redness, heat and fever.
True mastitis is a bacterial infection, with fever and marked skin redness and as a result you will need antibiotics. Without antibiotics, it may develop into a breast abscess , which will need to be drained. Non-breastfeeding women can also get mastitis and it is treated in the same way.
An examination by your breast specialist will prompt early diagnosis and treatment. This also presents an opportunity to exclude a very rare form of cancer called inflammatory carcinoma . Inflammatory breast cancer presents with generalised breast redness, swelling and firmness, but is not accompanied by fever associated with mastitis.
Other types of mastitis are less common. The causes of periductal mastitis and granulomatous mastitis are unknown, but women who smoke are more likely to get periductal mastitis.
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Giving Breast Cells A Little Squeeze Can Stop Cancerous Growth
Good news for breasts: simply giving would-be malignant mammary cells a little squeeze helps guide them back to a normal growth pattern
Good news for breasts: simply giving would-be malignant mammary cells a little squeeze helps guide them back to a normal growth pattern, report researchers from the University of California, Berkeley. Mechanical forces alone can revert and even stop out-of-control cancer cells, the researchers announced at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology, though the genetic mutations responsible for malignancy remain.
Breasts are dynamic, ever changing bundles of tissue. They grow, shrink and shift in a highly organized way in response to reproductive cycles throughout a womans life. Good boobies stay in line, however: they stop growing when theyre supposed to.
When breast cancer enters the scene, it disrupts this normal growth pattern. Cells shift awkwardly and grow uncontrollably, though chemicals can sometimes tame these mutant cells into behaving.
Malignant cells have not completely forgotten how to be healthy they just need the right cues to guide them back into a healthy growth pattern, the researchers commented.
Now, the bad news: squeezing alone probably will not defeat cancer. However, this finding does give new clues for tracking the roots and behavior of malignancy, which could eventually lead to more effective, albeit less delightful, therapies.
More from Smithsonian.com:
Facts About Breasts That You Probably Didn’t Know
20 March, 2019
Theres no doubt about it: breasts are one of the most unique and beautiful parts of a womans body. Plus, theyre are also essential for nursing babies.
Its pretty obvious that a womans breasts have a clearly sexual component that are a source of attraction. Keeping in mind their attraction and beauty, a lot of studies have been focused on them, not only in terms of health, but also regarding the pleasure and desire that they incite.
Whether large or small, there are more than a few interesting facts about breasts that you might not know yet. Read on!
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Visible Changes In The Nipple Or Skin
After puberty, your nipples remain fairly consistent in shape, size and color. Generally, there shouldnt be any sudden changes with your nipples or skin. But if there are any visible changes, such as a red, itchy or scaly rash inversion or sucking-in of the nipple dimpling, puckering or other changes in the skin on or around the nipple, you should see your doctor.
As breast cancer progresses, it grows and pushes other things out of the way, Dr. Duncan says. This can cause changes in the breast, skin and nipple as the breasts internal structure changes.
Can Squeezing Breast Cause Cancer
Ask U.S. doctors your own question and get educational, text answers â it’s anonymous and free!
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Types Of Normal Discharge
Hormonal imbalance due to sexual stimulation, or the use of medications like birth control pills, tranquilizers, antidepressants, blood pressure medications. The imbalance in hormone prolaction can cause milk secretion. Squeezing or stimulating the breast or nipple can cause nipple discharge.
In early stages of pregnancy, women might see a watery or liquid discharge coming out of the nipples, in the later stages it might take milky appearance. After stopping of breast-feeding, one might notice the milky discharge for sometimes. Due to vigorous physical exercise or jogging, stimulation in breasts may occur due to the bra, resulting in the discharge.
Can A Biopsy Make My Cancer Spread
A biopsy is an important part of helping your doctor make a possible cancer diagnosis. If your doctor does find cancer, the results of a biopsy can also help them tailor the right treatment plan for you and your specific type of cancer.
But some people may wonder whether a biopsy could have other effects on their body, including whether it may lead to the cancer spreading. Here, we discuss common biopsy techniques, why they are not likely to cause cancer to spread, and questions to discuss with your doctor if you have concerns.
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Nipple Discharge And Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can cause nipple discharge, especially ductal carcinoma in situ , an early form of breast cancer that starts in the milk ducts. It can also happen with Pagets disease of the breast, a rare type of breast cancer that involves the nipple.
If you do have breast cancer, the discharge will probably only come from one breast. You may have a lump in your breast, too.
Discharge is rarely due to cancer, however. In an older study, only 9 percent of women 50 years or older who saw a doctor for nipple discharge had breast cancer.
Its still a good idea to get any breast discharge checked out, especially if its a new symptom for you.
Nipple discharge is usually nothing to worry about. Still, because it can be a sign of breast cancer, its worth having a doctor check it out. Its especially important to see a doctor if:
- you have a lump in your breast
- you have nipple or skin changes, such as crusting or color change
- you have pain in your breast or other symptoms of breast cancer
- the discharge is bloody
- only one breast is affected
- the discharge doesnt stop
In men, its important to see a doctor if you notice any nipple discharge as its uncommon.
Your doctor will start by asking questions about the discharge, including:
- When did the discharge start?
- Is it in one breast or both?
- Does it come out on its own, or do you have to squeeze the nipple to produce it?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- What medications do you take?
- Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
What Are The Features Of Nipple Discharge
Nipple discharge may be:
Other questions which can be used to describe nipple discharge include:
- Is it coming from one breast or coming from both breasts ?
- Is it coming from one duct or more than one?
- What colour is it? Nipple fluid is most often yellow, green or milky. This is not usually a cause for concern. Discharge that is blood-stained , brown or crystal clear can be more significant. If it is difficult to tell what colour it is, then putting some fluid onto a white tissue can help.
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What Does The Research Say About Biopsies Spreading Cancer
Every medical procedure carries risks. Biopsies carry a small risk of bleeding and infection. In recent studies, scientists have worked to quantify the risks and benefits of biopsies in an effort to better inform patients and fellow physicians.
Several studies and reports of individual cases confirm that tumor seeding only very rarely occurs, and that the benefits of biopsies far outweigh the risks. For example, a 2008 review in the journal Gutshowed that needle track seeding occurred in 2.7% of liver cancer biopsies. In a 2015 BJU International study, however, researchers reviewed previous studies and found that the incidence of needle track seeding was low . In a 2013 study in Endoscopy, researchers found no difference in cancer recurrence in 256 patients with pancreatic cancer who did and did not receive biopsies. Then, in a later 2015 study in Gut, the same researchers found that biopsies were not associated with an increased risk of dying in a database of 2,034 Medicare patients with pancreatic cancer. More recently, in a 2019 study in Urology, researchers found that the core needle biopsy technique was safe and effective in 42 patients with bladder cancer and that seeding did not occur after 28 months of follow-up.
Overall, while it is not impossible for needle seeding to occur during a biopsy, it is rare.
Myth : Doctors Can Tell If A Lump Is Cancer Just By Feeling It
Wrong. Neither you nor your healthcare provider no matter how good he or she is can tell whether a lump is cancer without diagnostic imaging.
Providers who say, Its probably OK, without investigating further may cause a delay in diagnosing breast cancer, Dr. Pederson says. Dont let your doctor guess. Get imaging.
Women age 30 and older will have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. An ultrasound helps evaluate a mass by assessing whether it is solid or fluid-filled. Women under age 30 will have only an ultrasound because younger, denser breasts are difficult to evaluate by mammogram.
Suspicious lumps should be biopsied. Typically, a sample of tissue is drawn through a needle. Then the tissue is studied under a microscope.
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Will I Need Surgery
Surgery for nipple discharge is sometimes warranted. This is usually reserved for cases where a significant abnormality, such as a papilloma or breast cancer is suspected. Surgery is usually also needed for bloodstained nipple discharge even if the tests show no abnormality. In this case, it is done to explore the ducts under the nipple to rule out significant abnormalities not seen on tests. Surgery may also be performed as a procedure to cure annoying discharge caused by conditions such as duct ectasia.
Version 4 WSP 214 April 2021
Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
The warning signs of breast cancer are not the same for all women.
The most common signs are:
- A change in the look or feel of the breast OR
- A change in the look or feel of the nipple OR
- Nipple discharge
If you have any of the warning signs described below, see a health care provider .
If you dont have a provider, one of the best ways to find a good one is to get a referral from a trusted family member or friend.
If thats not an option, call your health department, a clinic or a nearby hospital. If you have insurance, your insurance company may also have a list of providers in your area.
Learn more about finding a health care provider.
In most cases, these changes are not cancer.
One example is breast pain. Pain is more common with benign breast conditions than with breast cancer, but the only way to know for sure is to get it checked.
If the change turns out to be breast cancer, its best to find it at an early stage, when the chances of survival are highest.
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Things That Can Cause A Lump In Your Breasts
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. However, if you feel a lump, it is important to know what factors may be causing this change in the texture of your breast tissue – as cancer may not always be the culprit. Here are seven reasons why a lump may develop in the breast, and what to do if you suspect you may be experiencing one of these issues.
Can A Breast Injury Cause Cancer
It is a common misconception that a breast injury could cause cancer. No available research exists that indicates a link between breast injury and cancer.
Some people may believe that a breast injury could lead to cancer because breast injuries can cause a lump to develop after an injury. But a lump could be due to what is called fat necrosis.
Fat necrosis is scarring of dead or injured fatty tissue in the breast that can cause a lump. According to the American Cancer Society, fat necrosis does ânot increase a womanâs risk of breast cancer.â
A lump in the breast after an injury can also be due to a deep bruise that is known as a hematoma.
There are several potential complications of a traumatic breast injury:
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Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Many women overestimate their risk of developing breast cancer causing themselves unnecessary worry. The cause of breast cancer is still not known, but it is helpful to understand the risk factors.
The most important risk factors for breast cancer are:
- Being female
- One in nine women in New Zealand will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
- One per cent of breast cancer occurs in men.
- More than 3600 women in New Zealand are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
- The cause of breast cancer remains unknown.
Squeezing Breasts ‘could Stop Growth Of Cancer Cells’
- Experts found physical force can play a role in the growth – and reversion – of cancer cells
- Squashing malignant cells made them grow in a more normal and organised way
- Research could help experts track down molecules that could be targeted for therapies
15:03 EDT, 17 December 2012 | Updated:
A little squeeze may be all that it takes to prevent malignant breast cells triggering cancer, research has shown.
Laboratory experiments showed that applying physical pressure to the cells guided them back to a normal growth pattern.
Scientists believe the research provides clues that could lead to new treatments.
Squashing breast cells encouraged them to grow in a regular way. However, scientists don’t believe compressing breast tissue would have a beneficial effect
‘People have known for centuries that physical force can influence our bodies,’ said Gautham Venugopalan, a leading member of the research team at the University of California in Berkeley, US.
‘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.’
The study involved growing malignant breast epithelial cells within a gel injected into flexible silicone chambers.
This allowed the scientists to apply compression during the first stages of cell growth, effectively squashing the cells.
Over time, the squeezed malignant cells began to grow in a more normal and organised way.
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When Is Nipple Discharge Abnormal
Spontaneous nipple discharge unrelated to pregnancy or breast feeding is considered abnormal. In most cases it has a non-cancerous cause. Spontaneous nipple discharge that is caused by disease in the breast is more likely to be from one breast only , confined to a single duct, and clear or blood-stained in appearance.
Nipple discharge that is associated with other symptoms such as a lump in the breast or ulceration or inversion of the nipple needs prompt investigation, even if it is not spontaneous or blood-stained.