With all of the attention and outrage caused last week by the Susan Komen’s breast cancer group’s removing funding from Planned Parenthood and then reversing this decision, the business of breast cancer awareness has been on everyone’s minds.
What if there was one simple thing you could do to lower your risk of breast cancer? Go BRALESS!
How many women do you know who have had breast cancer? I can think of many survivors and some who did not in my circle of friends and acquaintances. Many survivors live in fear that their death sentence has been written. Could going braless have saved their lives?
Recently, a friend shared on Facebook an interesting idea: bras contribute to breast cancer. Cheeseslave reported on the book [amazon_link id=”1930858051″ target=”_blank” ]Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras[/amazon_link]:
The authors conducted a study of almost 4600 women. Half of the women had breast cancer and half of did not. They found that the more hours per day that a bra is worn, the higher the rate of breast cancer. They also found that women who do not wear bras have a dramatically reduced rate of breast cancer.
Now, I’m sure people are going to complain about the way they conducted their research. I’ll cover that when I write the book review. As I said, I haven’t finished reading the book yet. But I will say that I think, for me, there is enough evidence (and not just the study they did) to make me stop wearing a bra.
Here is the summary of their research:
- Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer (in their study, n=2056 for the cancer group and n=2674 for the standard group).
- Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.
- Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.
- Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer. The overall difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all was a 125-fold difference.
So the bottom line is, according to the authors, if you must wear a bra, try to put it on as late in the day as possible and get it off as early as you can. And never sleep in a bra.
The concern with bras lies in the restriction of flow and pressure on the lymph nodes, which makes sense considering underwire bras can case problems when breastfeeding in restricting flow in the milk ducts. A less restrictive bra is better. You certainly don’t want the conical shaped ones on “[amazon_link id=”B000YABIQ6″ target=”_blank” ]Mad Men[/amazon_link]”, which I can’t help but stare at. I suppose today’s push up bras are not better for you body.
This may be hard advice for larger breasted women, and one woman I know who did suffer from breast cancer is always braless. There are alway exceptions to every case, and family genetics, as well as environmental concerns cannot be ignored.
I turned 40 this year, which means my doctor wants me to have my first mammogram. Even though new recommendations came out last year postponing regular mammograms until the age of 50, my doctor’s experience finding cases within this decade cause her to still follow the old protocol. I don’t know what I fear. I think it is the radiation.
I have no family history of breast cancer, I breastfed both my children over two years each, and I never wear a bra at home (unless we have company). I think my odds are pretty good.
Elisabeth Dale says
No reputable breast cancer organization believes there is a link between bra wear and breast cancer. You might want to take a look at Dr. Susan Love’s website regarding this issue and other breast cancer myths (including using antiperspirants): http://www.dslrf.org/breastcancer/content.asp?L2=7&L3=2&SID=366