Can Wearing a Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

Could one of the most commonly used women’s undergarments cause breast cancer? There has been much talk about the possibility that the simple women’s bra is causing breast cancer. There has been multiple studies conducted upon this idea due to the fact that if this myth is true almost the entire population of women are in danger.

53b5fb89a43ffThis myth has quickly been shut down as there has been no proven correlation to the cell in which causes cancer and the bra itself. There obviously have been women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer that wear bras yet there are also women who have been diagnosed who do not wear bras. Some of the ideas that contribute to the cancer and bra correlation are as follows.

  • wearing your bra for too long
  • not correctly fitted bra (too tight)
  • underwire
  • wearing your bra to sleep

Now do not be worried as the few studies that have been preformed have debunked the myth. One study has taken large group of women in “metropolitan area that compared 454 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) cases and 590 invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2004 with 469 control women between 55 to 74 years of age”( Chen, Malone, Li). This was an observational study and the data was collected by brining the subjects in one by one and interviewing them to get the different data needed. The data was not all numerical it also had to do with what the subjects lifestyle was like due to the idea of possibly a third variable that leads to the growth of the cell.

The study has resulted in once again no correlation between the two. There is nothing in the bra that we know of or habits while in the bra that cause the cancer cell to grow. As of now you can continue to sell and wear bras without any worry. until further study is done the idea cannot be put to rest, yet there is sufficient evidence to help put your mind at ease.

6 thoughts on “Can Wearing a Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

  1. Andrew Read

    I got the following email, which the author has given me permission to post:

    On 12/5/2014 9:52 AM, Syd Singer wrote:
    > Hi Dr. Read,
    > I am a medical anthropologist breast cancer researcher and co-author of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras.
    > There is a brief article in your course that is online and that discusses this issue.
    > While I am happy to see this important topic discussed by students, the article is incorrect in many details. I would make a comment to the article, but I am not able to.
    > Perhaps more troubling is the poor quality of the article and the comments, with a frightening lack of research and verification of facts. The article actually reads more like a propaganda piece by the cancer or lingerie industries, which are frantically trying to suppress this information.
    > FYI, FYI here is an article of mine that may help explain the culturogenic dimension of this issue.
    > Regards,
    > —
    > Sydney Ross Singer
    > Medical Anthropologist
    > Director, Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease
    > P.O. Box 1880
    > Pahoa, Hawaii 96778
    > 808-935-5563

  2. Nicole Kristen Abunassar

    This post is very interesting. I’ve definitely heard this myth before and never really believed it. I definitely think that any correlation could be due to a third variable mainly because the majority of people diagnosed with breast cancer are women and most women wear bras.

  3. Hannah Elizabeth Boothman

    Very interesting! I definitely agree third variables would be present. People have different lifestyles and our bras do not know what kind of life we live. I would be amazed if a study could actually prove that bras cause cancer. If it did so, would bras still exist? I guess that’s just another question. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  4. Austin White

    I found this post very interesting because it is something I never would have thought of. Weird to think its even possible that an article of clothing worn by the majority of humans could cause damage. While there is not a lot to back up whether it does or not I found your research very interesting. Maybe there could be some third variables in relation to bras that cause cancerous cells, would be interesting to find out. thanks for an enjoyable post.

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