The following article is by Dr. Habib Sadeghi published on Medium: https://medium.com/@drsadeghi/could-there-possibly-be-a-link-between-bras-and-breast-cancer-a8e9b3b73bc3
“The idea that bras were connected with an increase in breast cancer was first raised by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer in their 1995 book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. In the book, the authors were following up on a 1991 study conducted at Harvard University and published in the European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology. In examining breast size and breast cancer risk, the study discovered that pre-menopausal women who did not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer when compared to bra users. In conducting their own research with 5,000 women between 1991 and 1993, Singer and Grismaijer discovered that breast cancer risk dramatically increased in women who wore their bras over 12 hours per day. Their other findings included:
-Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
-Women who wore their bras for more than 12 hours but not to bed had a 1 in 7 risk for breast cancer
-Wearing a bra less than 12 hours per day dropped breast cancer risk to 1 in 152.
-Women who never or rarely wore bras had a 1 in 168 risk for breast cancer.
-Overall, women who wore their bras 24 hours per day increased their breast cancer risk by 125 times over women who rarely or never wore a bra.
Naturally, numbers like these got lots of people talking. While the lingerie industry was quick to dismiss the findings, science set to work trying to discover the exact mechanics by which bras seemed to be greatly increasing breast cancer risk in women. The original suspicions still hold true today.
Among those who acknowledge the bra/breast cancer risk connection, it’s widely held that a tight-fitting bra restricts the lymph nodes around the breast and underarm area, preventing toxins from being processed through them and flushed out of the body. Accumulated toxins anywhere in the body increase the risk for cancer. Dr. Michael Schacter, MD, of the Schacter Center for Complimentary Medicine, explains it this way:
“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.”
Free-flowing drainage throughout the entire lymphatic system is crucial for the body to quickly detoxify itself of waste products and any harmful or carcinogenic substances like PCBs, DDT, dioxin, and benzene from the industrial world we live in. The rate and degree to which the lymphatic system can drain these toxins away depends largely on the amount of body movement needed to stimulate it. The lymphatic system doesn’t simply work on its own. It gets fired up when the body gets moving through exercise, dancing, or even a brisk walk. When breasts are constricted in a form-fitting bra, they are not free to move in synchronization with the rest of the body and stimulate the lymph nodes around them to start moving toxins out. This kind of restriction problem is clearly evident in many women who display red creases or grooves along their bra lines. Dents around the sides of the chest near the bra edge are also sometimes visible through the clothes, depending on what a woman is wearing.
Singer and Grismaijer certainly had their detractors, who were quick to point out that their study did not take into account issues such as a woman’s family cancer history, weight, diet, exercise habits, and other risk factors. This is because Dressed to Kill was an epidemiological study, which normally looks at a large number of case studies and draws mathematical conclusions from them based on comparisons of large amounts of data. Unlike a traditional double-blind study that isolates one factor to test its effect on something else, epidemiological research takes a more bird’s eye view of a situation by seeking out obvious trends under certain circumstances.
In recent years, additional research has given even more credence to the original study, and those who laughed at the data are now giving it a serious second look. A Chinese study from 2009 found that not sleeping in a bra dropped a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 60%. In 2011, a study by the Department of Public Health in Venezuela found that bras played a primary role in fibrocystic breast disease and cancer, and that any bras that left indentations or red marks on the body were a risk, especially underwire and push-up bras. A study of 2,500 women in Scotland in 2014 also showed that bra fit and length of wear were also connected to increases in breast cancer rates.
In light of this more recent research, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released data from its own study in September 2014, which was conducted by The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Originally published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, the results contradicted virtually other every study done on the bra/breast cancer connection in the 23 years that preceded it. In examining 1,500 women with and without a history of breast cancer, the researchers found that there was zero connection between breast cancer and bra wear, regardless of a woman’s age, how long and at what time of day a bra is worn, at what age bra usage begins, bra style, or even breast/cup size.
At the same time, other researchers and breast health advocates were finding their own flaws and conflicts of interest in the Hutchinson study. Of primary concern was the fact that the Hutchinson study only looked at women 55 and older, all of whom wore bras. There was no control group of women who did not wear bras with which the data was compared. Without a proper comparison with a control group, it’s nearly impossible to make any assumptions about the collected data. Is it possible the researchers were concerned that the lower breast cancer rates of women who went bra-free would disprove the desired outcome of their own study? It’s a valid question. How else do you explain a so-called scientific study with no baseline with which to compare its data? Ironically, the study actually does validate all the previous bra/cancer connection studies because every woman in the Hutchinson study cancer group was a lifetime bra wearer.
Barely one week after the release of the NCI Hutchinson study results, Sydney Ross Singer, one of the authors of Dressed to Kill, was quick to point out the above research flaws, as well as a related conflict of interest that wasn’t widely known. According to Singer, The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center receives money annually from a fundraising event called the Bra Dash, a 5k run during which women wear pink bras on the outside of their clothes to raise money for research. Perhaps the researchers felt it was inappropriate to implicate bras in breast cancer when they’re used to raise money for the institution.
In spite of the NCI Hutchinson stand on bras and breast cancer, Singer’s work and all the earlier studies continue to be validated. As early as February 2015, research published in the African Journal of Cancer found that, among other risk factors, “intensity of brassiere use…had association with breast cancer occurrence.”
This is very important- don’t wear metal underwires (plastic isn’t good either because it constricts) but the metal is of special concern:
In recent years, yet another cancer-related concern has been raised about bras, particularly those with an underwire and their ability to magnify and sustain electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and radiation from things like cell phones and Wi-Fi. While the fact that your bra could absorb and intensify radiation seems preposterous, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds.
Science has known for some time that metal objects can be used to sustain and magnify EMF radiation. Dr. George Goodheart, also known as the Father of Applied Kinesiology, discovered that taping a small metal ball over an acupuncture point generated a much longer electrical stimulation to that area of the body. He called this the Antenna Effect. That discovery led to the development of AcuAids, small magnetic patches that doctors and chiropractors all over the world use every day.
Just like the metal ball, any metal on the human body has the ability to capture, sustain, and magnify EMF radiation depending on the environment you’re in and the electronic devices you’re using. The concern with an underwire in a bra is that it comes into contact with two neuro-lymphatic reflex points on the body. The point below the right breast is connected to the liver and gall bladder, while the one below the left breast is linked to the stomach. Over-stimulation of these points not only risks cancerous mutation of breast tissue, but additional problems in the liver, gall bladder, and stomach may result, as well. Doctor and chiropractor John D. Andre explains it this way:
“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 underwire on top of those reflex points, over time that will mess up the functioning of the associated circuits: Liver, gallbladder, and stomach.”
Purchase bras without an underwire. Snipping the outer edges below each cup will allow you to remove the wires from your existing bras. Be sure to close the incisions up with a few stitches of thread.
Reduce the time you wear your bra by several hours each day. Try going bra-free once you come home from work instead of wearing it up until bedtime.
Never wear your bra to bed.
Massage your breasts daily to get the lymph flowing.
If your bra leaves marks on the body of any kind, it’s too tight. There are bras with wider straps that can be adjusted to distribute boob weight evenly.