The following is excerpted from an article by Dr. Carol Davis:
New information reported by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, (Ann.Rev.Cell Biol. 2006,22:287-309) University of California, San Francisco,(J.Cell Physiol 227, 1553-1560) and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, (J.Bio.Chem 288(18)2013: 12722-12732;May 2013) among other prestigious universities, sheds important information on what happens when normal breast tissue becomes a cancer tumor. This new information, coupled with an understanding of how we can positively change breast tissue with our hands, directs us to an improved practice of self breast examination.
Research findings presented in December, 2012, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology in San Francisco, reported that, for the first time, science has shown how “mechanical forces alone can revert and stop the out-of-control growth of cancer cells…even though the genetic mutations responsible for the malignancy remain.” (Science Daily, 17 December, 2012)
Breast cancer researcher and Distinguished Scientist, Mina Bissell, showed from her studies at Berkeley that mammary tumor cells, when placed within normal growth medium, will continue to grow into a larger tumor. However, when she and her team manipulated the surrounding environment of the tumor cells in the petri dish by growing the tumor cells in a “gelatin –like substance that had been injected into flexible silicone chambers,” the compressed tumor cells reverted back to normal. This petri dish growth medium mimicked the extracelluar matrix of healthy, mobile breast fascia which surrounds every breast cell. It turns out that the malignant cells had not “forgotten how to be healthy; they just needed the right cues (from the environment) to guide them back into a healthy growth pattern.” In sum, a breast cancer tumor is not “doomed to become a malignant tumor, but its fate is dependent on its surrounding environment,” or the fascia. The fascia has to be mobile and flexible (like silicon) and allow space enough for the cells to organize themselves in relation to one another, and to bio-chemically communicate with each other.
What is fascia? Another name for “connective tissue,” fascia is a living spider web-like tissue that is the environment of every one of our 50-75 trillion cells. Not only does it surround and separate cells, organs and our muscles from each other, all our cells are embedded within this tissue – our brains, our muscles, our hearts and stomachs, and, yes, our breasts.
And this fascia tissue goes from the top of our heads to the bottom of our feet in one continuous web that helps hold us all together structurally. Over time, the Jello-like ground substance dehydrates and becomes stiffer, less web-like and more “pancake” like, or even rope-like, sticking together to form rigid fascial restrictions. These fascial restrictions interfere with cells being able to communicate with one another and organize themselves into a normal pattern. Fascial restrictions can also congeal around fluid and form cysts and fibroid type tumors that press on pain sensitive structures and cause symptoms throughout the body. Many women feel these fibroid cysts every month when they do their self beast examination, and have been told that fibrous breasts are more likely to show tumor growth than non – fibrous breasts.
With this new information, we now can glimpse how we might contribute to the health of our breasts, and hopefully reduce the likelihood that normal breast cells will transform into tumor cells.
Videos to show you how to protect your breasts with myofascial release: