Women have a chance to cry for a good cause in Auckland today.
The Breast Cancer Foundation is collecting the tears of almost 400 cinema-goers as they watch a tear-jerker movie, as part of research into tears as an early marker of the disease.
The foundation's research and communications manager, Adèle Gautier, said the research was at an early stage but there was evidence certain levels of different proteins could indicate the presence of breast cancer.
"They've already discovered the biomarker - which is what they call the protein in the tears - and now it's about understanding, well, how do you actually collect that and analyse the tears and then use that data to form the basis of some sort of screening in the future," she said.
Ms Gautier says women who volunteer to take part at the CBD cinema event may cry of their own accord at the film, a romantic drama called Brooklyn, or scientists can help manipulate their eyes to make them water.
Breast cancer is New Zealand's third most common cancer. It kills more than 600 people each year.