Bras and Breast Cancer
(Information gleaned from an article by Dr. Joseph Mercola)
A bra is an important support device, particularly for women with large breasts. However, wearing certain types of bras, wearing your bra too tight or even wearing a bra at all can have potentially serious health problems.
Bra Wearers May Face Up to an astounding 125 Times Higher Risk for Breast Cancer
Women who do not wear bras have a much lower risk of breast cancer - found mdical anthropologists Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer - authors of Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, who conducted a study of over 4,000 women, and found:
# of Hours Women Wore their Bra
Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
24 hours / day
3 out of 4
> 12 hours / day, but not to bed
1 out of 7
< 12 hours / day
1 out of 52
Rarely or never
1 out of 168
Dressed to Kill, 1995, Sydney Ross Singer, Soma Grismaijer, http://www.selfstudycenter.org/dressedtokill.htm
The overall difference between women who wore their bras 24-hours a day and those who did not wear bras at all was a 125-fold difference. Based on the results of this study, the link between bras and breast cancer is about three times greater than the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.
Singer and Grismaijer also found that about 90% of fibrocystic patients improve when they stop wearing bras.
Although not a controlled study for other risk factors, this study's results are quite compelling.
Other Bra Wearing/Cancer-related Studies
- Pre-menopausal women who did not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users. 1991 study, published in the European Journal of Cancer
Hsieh, C.C. and D. Trichopoulos, D., Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk, European Journal of Cancer, 1991;27(2):131-5, PubMed
- Wearing a girdle or bra can lower your levels of MELATONIN by 60%. The hormone MELATONIN has had much research scrutiny:
93 Lee YA, Hyun KJ, Tokura H, Department of Environmental Health, Nara Women's University, Japan, "The effects of skin pressure by clothing on circadian rhythms of core temperature and salivary melatonin." Chronobiol Int 2000 Nov;17(6):783
✔ Involved with the regulation of your sleep cycles
J. Hansen, "Light at Night, Shiftwork, and Breast Cancer Risk" J Natl Cancer Inst 2001; 93: 1513-1515
✔ Powerful antioxidant - can prevent DNA damage and bind to T-helper cells.
Histol Histopathol 2000 Apr;15(2):637-47
Problems with Bras
Wearing a tight-fitting bra can cut off lymph drainage, which can contribute to the development of fibrocystic breasts and possibly breast cancer. Toxins accumulate in the breast as a result of your body's impaired ability to excrete toxins. E.g. Aluminum from antiperspirants. Toxins deplete oxygen supply, which leads to cells switching from their normal aerobic respiration to a less efficient anaerobic energy production, leading to a cell becoming cancerous. What is fibrocytic breast disease?
"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." - Dr. Michael Schacter, M.D.in his article, The Prevention and Complementary Treatment of Breast Cancer.
The Prevention and Complementary Treatment of Breast Cancer, Michael Schachter M.D., F.A.C.A.M., http://healthy.net/scr/article.asp?ID=533
Signs that your Bra is too tight
✔ Red marks on your shoulders caused by your bra straps.
✔ Breasts forced over the top of the cup in a double bump.
✔ The center of your bra does not touch the breastbone.
The Underwire Bra - far worse for your health than tight or ill-fitting bras is the the underwire bra. Nearly all underwire bras contain metal underwires coated with plastic -it is the metal that could damage your long-term health.
- The Long-Term Stimulation Effect - In his 1975 article, Chinese Lessons For Modern Chiropractors, Dr. George Goodheart (known as “the father”of Applied Kinesiology) discovered that by taping a small metal ball over an acupuncture point, you could achieve longer-term stimulation to that point. This discovery led to what are now known as AcuAids-- small magnetic patches that are used by thousands of doctors across the world.
However, any metal constantly applied to any given energy channel or point on your body can have the same stimulating effect.
. . . below your breasts are two important neuro-lymphatic reflex points. The one below your right breast corresponds to your liver and gallbladder. The one below your left breast goes to your stomach.
- Law of Stimulation. “These reflexes, like all acupuncture points, follow the Law of Stimulation. In the beginning of stimulating a point, it is stimulated - often causing an increase in associated function. Later on, this continued stimulation causes sedation of that point and a subsequent decrease in its associated function.It's a mechanical thing. If a woman keeps the metal underwires on top of those reflex points, over time that will mess up the functioning of the associated circuits: Liver, gallbladder, and stomach.Bottom Line: It will likely make her sick; slowly and quietly.”
- John D. Andre, D.C., N.D.,
The Antenna Effect - the metal wire can also act as an antenna attracting electromagnetic fields, which can also increase your risk of breast cancer.
How to Reduce the Risk of fibrocystic breasts and Breast Cancer
(1) Wear a bra that is properly fitted and not too tight
(2) Leave your bra off when not in public. E.g. when relaxing at home
(3) Don't wear underwire bras. If you want to keep an underwire, consider switching the metal wire in your bra for a plastic wire. Sometimes in fabric stores, or sold online E.g. BraMakersSupply.com. On the inside of your bra, snip a tiny hole in the fabric at the end of the underwire. Slide the old wire out and replace it with a plastic wire, which can be cut to the correct length to fit. Neatly re-stitch across the hole to keep the wire from sliding out of its casing.