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Study: Squeezing breasts can prevent cancer — yes, really

A new study has found that squeezing malignant breast cancer cells could encourage them to resume a normal growth pattern.
Cleavage 2012 08 14Enlarge
A new study claims that women stare just as much at women's breasts as men do. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Teenage boys have been waiting for this news for years. 

According to a new study, squeezing breasts can prevent cancer. Yes, really.

More specifically, the, ahem, fresh research from UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that mechanical force can stop the rapid growth of cancer cells as well as guide them back to a normal, healthy growth pattern. 

The findings were presented Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology in San Francisco. In the studies, researchers grew malignant breast epithelial cells in a flexible silicone chamber. They would squeeze the silicone when the cells reached a new stage, and found that the compression aided in stopping the growth, according to MSN News

“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. "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.”

However, the study's researchers are not advocating a friendly or firm squeeze as a cancer treatment, as the Huffington Post pointed out

“Compression, in and of itself, is not likely to be a therapy,” said Daniel Fletcher, professor of bioengineering at Berkeley and faculty scientist at the Berkeley Lab, in a statement. “But this does give us new clues to track down the molecules and structures that could eventually be targeted for therapies.”

So don't get too excited. 

More from GlobalPost: Women stare at breasts just as much as men do, new study says

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/study-squeezing-breasts-can-prevent-cancer