Did you know that your bra can actually cause breast cancer? I had a dear friend pass away recently from breast cancer. She was my age. Since then, I've been reading a lot about breast cancer prevention.
It turns out the ladies burning their bras in the 1960s may have really been on to something. Read on…
Why Bras are Bad for You
Watch this video interview with Cheri-lynn Burk CCT, of the Las Vegas Thermography Clinic (where I'm booking my thermography appointment). I love what it says on her website: “Breast Cancer is a Big Business… Breast Health is a Big Mission!”
Burk says that bras restrict the lymph flow. She says the best thing we can do is go braless.
Of course, jumping on a rebounder or trampoline would also be really helpful as Cheri-lynn mentions, as rebounders stimulates lymph flow. (Just make sure you jump on it without your bra on.) I'm planning to buy a rebounder (and a trampoline for the back yard) this year.
Dressed to Kill
I also just started reading a fascinating book called Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras.
I was very skeptical at first about this whole business. I mean, really, could a bra really cause breast cancer?
But I figured, what the heck, I'll give the book a chance. It didn't take long until I was hooked. I can't say I'm absolutely convinced yet but I'm siding with the authors. They make a lot of points in the book that are hard to ignore.
And I'll tell you what, I'm never going to wear my underwire bras again.
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.
I work at home. Most days I don't put a bra on until 9 or 10 am. Sometimes noon or even later (I like to work in my pajamas). And I like to put my PJs back on again right after dinner — by 6 or 7 pm. HA!
Anyway, I'm going to write a whole review post when I finish the book — stay tuned.
Do Braless Breasts Sag Less?
I posted about this topic on my Facebook page. I was surprised to see that lots of women told me they always go braless.
Me? I'm not courageous enough (YET) to go braless. At least not out in public. At home, sure. But I can't go to a business meeting without a bra.
Although I have read very compelling arguments from folks on Facebook attesting to the fact that going braless has actually made their breasts sag LESS. (Which is really making me wonder if maybe I should ditch all bras for good.)
Susun Weed also writes:
1991 Researchers in Japan pubished a study on bras and sagging, in which they proved that a bra can actually increase breast sagging, rather than the opposite. This effect was most noticeable in larger breasted women. They compared bras to foot binding in their discussion section. (“Breast Form Changes Resulting From A Certain Brassiere” Journal of Hum. Ergol.(Tokyo) 1990 Jun; 19(1):53-62. Ashizawa K, Sugane A, Gunji T Institute of Human Living Sciences, Otsuma Women's University, Tokyo, Japan) — Source
Less Constricting Bra Options
A number of people on Facebook wrote to say that they wear camisoles with shelf bras or other types of soft, stretchy bras that are not as constricting as regular bras. One person on Facebook recommended the Coobie Bra.
GOSH I love that about you guys. I get SO many great books suggestions, tips and ideas from you all!
I read the glowing reviews about the Coobie and so I bought one, sight unseen. It came last week and I have to tell you, I LOVE my new Coobie bra! It is so comfortable! It doesn't pinch or bind. It's the closest thing to wearing nothing at all. But even better in my mind, because I can wear a t-shirt out in public and feel comfortable. Even if I weren't worried about cancer, I would still wear this bra.
I love it so much that I will be throwing away all my other bras.
Actually, maybe I'll burn them.
Stay tuned for the book review of Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras. I'm going to be up tonight reading it!
How About You?
Do you think there's any truth to this theory about bras causing breast cancer? Do you wear a bra? Or do you let “the girls” fly free?
Photo credit: Burn the bras on Flickr