9th April 2014
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Don’t Send Them Money for Breast Cancer Research… Send Them Your Bra!
Does wearing constrictive bras for long periods of time daily contribute to breast cancer?
It does… according to at least 5 research studies and numerous healthcare providers, including oncologists and MD’s. Even some lingerie manufacturers have developed new bra designs hoping to minimize lymphatic constriction and thereby help prevent breast cancer, citing the bra-cancer theory for their patents.
But it doesn’t… according to the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, fundraising giants of the cancer detection and treatment world. These foundations consider the link absurd and unworthy of serious consideration, and unquestionably assume that research showing a link must have some other explanation besides bras.
Shrugging off the bra-cancer link is killing hundreds of thousands of women and wasting billions of dollars in unnecessary detection and treatment. I am calling for a boycott of these organizations until they stop dismissing the bra-cancer link, and begin educating doctors and women about the cancer hazards of wearing tight bras that constrict blood- and lymphatic-flow to the breasts.
Komen Foundation and American Cancer Society
Research on the bra wearing habits of US women with and without breast cancer showed that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men, and that the tighter and longer a bra is worn the higher the incidence of breast cancer rose — up to 100 times greater for 24/7 bra wearers.
When cancer organizations were first notified about this discovery, the results were completely ignored or ridiculed. Now, 20 years later, the American Cancer Society and the Susan G. Komen Foundation still ridicule the information out of hand, and try to explain away the link as a ridiculous “myth”.
Why are women not hearing about this from the ACS and Komen Foundation? Why are these organizations so eager to fund-raise for a “cure” yet so opposed to exploring simple potential preventative measures such as the bra-cancer link? Could it be because lingerie companies donate to their charities? Could it be that preventing this disease by challenging the cultural norm of bra wearing is too taboo for these ‘detection and treatment’ focused organizations?
Whatever their reason, it is wrong for the bra-cancer link to be dismissed and ignored. It should be explored, not stonewalled. Over the past 20 years 2,000,000 women in the US alone have gotten breast cancer – real women, who may have avoided it by simply loosening their bra and wearing it for less time each day.
So I personally suggest that whenever the ACS or Komen Foundation ask for a donation, send them your bra instead! This will give them the message, and give your breasts a break at the same time.
What Komen and ACS Say:
“Scientific evidence does not support a link between wearing an underwire bra (or any type of bra) and an increased risk of breast cancer. There is no biological reason the two would be linked, and any observed relationship is likely due to other factors”.
“Internet e-mail rumors and at least one book have suggested that bras cause breast cancer by obstructing lymph flow. There is no good scientific or clinical basis for this claim”.
Is it wise to take such advice from the entities who profit from cancer?
Studies That Support the Bra/Cancer Link:
- 1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991). Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.). This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users…”
- 1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and Grismaijer, published in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguin Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005) found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times that of a bra-free woman.
- Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji, published in Get It Off! (ISCD Press, 2000) and found 24 case histories of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and diet and living in the same village, the ones getting breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work.
- A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP, Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM) ‘Risk factors of breast cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures’ (in Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk by 60%.
- 2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that bras are causing breast disease and cancer. http://www.portalesmedicos.com/publicaciones/articles/3691/1/Patologias-mamarias-generadas-por-el-uso-sostenido-y-seleccion-incorrecta-del-brassier-en-pacientes-que-acuden-a-la-consulta-de-mastologia- It found that underwired and push-up bras are the most harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or indentations may cause disease.
Studies That Refute the Bra/Cancer Link:
Physicians Who Support the Bra/Cancer Link:
– a 4th generation physician, she is Board Certified by the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology, the American Board of Emergency Medicine, and the American Board of Internal Medicine, founder of vaughanintegrative.com
Wearing a bra puts pressure on and around the breasts and restricts lymphatic flow. Consider this: lightly resting one finger on your arm will create about 5mm of mercury pressure in that location, which is enough to stop lymphatic flow. The restriction of lymphatic flow that tight bra straps have around the breasts, shoulders and back is much more significant…. take off that bra! At the very least, wear it less than 12 hours a day. Ideally, though, avoid wearing it whenever possible. Visit BraFree.org for tips on how to easily and discreetly make the transition.
– head of the Clinic of Breast Diseases and Oncology surgery at the Polish Mother Memorial Hospital Research Institute, collaboration with Polish lingerie manufacturer Corin and Lodz University of Technology on a thermographic study of interactions between the surface of a bra and a woman’s body.
Wearing a bra that is too tight can cause pressure, which may lead to dangerous health problems, like lymphatic drainage disorders, edema and or swollen lymph nodes
– served as Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at Christiana Care Health Services from 1986 through 2006, subsequently served as the Medical Director for the Center of Integrative Health at The Preventive Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute.
Women who wear bras don’t have normal movement in their breast tissue. As a result, their lymphatics slow, and toxins stay in the tissue.
– Director of the Schachter Center for Complementary Medicine, graduate of Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons.
Over 85 percent of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow.
The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast.
– Osteopathic physician, board-certified in family medicine, served as the chairman of the family medicine department at St. Alexius Medical Center for 5 years, trained in both traditional and natural medicine, founder of Mercola.com
Many physicians and researchers now agree that wearing a tight fitting bra can cut off lymph drainage, which can contribute to the development of breast cancer, as your body will be less able to excrete all the toxins you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Aluminum from antiperspirants, for example, is one potentially dangerous source of toxins that can accumulate if your lymph drainage is impaired.
Avoid wearing underwire bras. There is a good deal of data that metal underwire bras can heighten your breast cancer risk.
– Naturopathic Doctor, contributing writer for www.keep-a-breast-org
According to Dr. Mandy [Ward], who is our naturopathic expert, 85% of the lymphatic fluid must drain its waste around the armpit area, while 15% drains along the breast bone. Where does your bra usually wrap around your body? The bra seems to obstruct the very place that needs to be unobstructed! Studies have shown that the tightness of a bra can cut off the lymphatic system from draining properly. This means that your bra could be obstructing your body’s natural flow which can also increase your risks for cancer.
– Naturopathic Physician, founder of drcherylkasdorf.com
Tight bras, poor food choices, and lack of exercise can hamper lymphatic removal of fluids from the breast. That can result in breast tenderness and is a risk factor for breast disease including cancer.
– a pediatric endocrinologist and behavioral researcher with a Masters of Public Health in health behavior studies, and creator of the award-winning EndoGoal Diabetes Rewards App.
“tight bras can reduce the lymphatic flow to the breasts thus creating an environment with more ‘cellular waste and toxins’ that should have been cleared by the lymphatic system.”
I could go on, but you get the point. The evidence clearly suggests a link between breast cancer and bras
Breast cancer prevention is up to each woman. Don’t wait for the people who profit from cancer to tell you the answer.
“Send them your bra instead!”
Previous article by Sydney:
About the author:
Sydney Ross Singer is a medical anthropologist, the author of several ground-breaking and controversial health books, and the director of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease, located in Hawaii. He is internationally recognized for his revolutionary and shocking research linking breast cancer with the wearing of tight bras, which he describes in his book, Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras.
Sydney was trained in biochemistry, anthropology and medicine. He received a B.S. in biology from the University of Utah in 1979. He then spent two years in the biochemistry Ph.D. program at Duke University, followed by another two years at Duke in the anthropology Ph.D. program, receiving a Master’s Degree. He then attended the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston, Texas on a full academic scholarship, where he spent one year in the medical humanities Ph.D. program, and received an additional two years training in medical school. He left medical school to help develop a new field of applied medical anthropology.