Can Bras Cause Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer, being a hard to understand cancer, typically leads to a lot of myths. But does the myth that bras lead to breast cancer have any truth in it? The 1995 book called Dressed to Kill by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, started the rumor that bras and breast cancer correlation. Dressed to Kill claimed that a women that wears underwire bras for 12 hours a day will have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who do not.

anigif_enhanced-1817-1408566586-8Some doctors that agree with this idea of correlation say, wearing certain bras that are tight fitting can cut off lymph drainage, which can lead to the development of breast cancer. In the book Dressed to Kill, the authors conducted a study of over 4,000 women and found that women who wore bras for less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 52 risk, while women who wore bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer. They argued that the correlation of bras to breast cancer is four times greater than smoking is to lung cancer.

But other doctors say no, there is a lack of proof and data for the correlation of bras and breast cancer. The American Cancer Society quoted that “there is no evidence that compression of the lymph nodes by bras causes breast cancer; in reality, body fluids travel up and into the underarm lymph nodes, not towards the underwire. Basically stating that there is not a sufficient amount of evidence that justifies that bras cause breast cancer. In 2014 researcher conducted a observational study on postmenopausal female participants about their bra wearing patterns. More than 1,000 women with breast cancer and almost 500 who did not have breast cancer participated in this study. The conclusion, the rese7xFQJOEarchers found no evidence of a connection between breast cancer risk and the hours at which a woman
wears her bra.

This correlation is still fought over with doctors, physicians, and experts. There is no clear cause of breast cancer and no clear evidence to link or unlink breast cancer and bras. It’s up to you to decided if you believe it to be true of not, and if you should avoid bras or not. Ask yourself, does the risk outweigh the cost?



5 thoughts on “Can Bras Cause Breast Cancer?

  1. Cassidy Paige Heiserman

    This post was by far one of the most interesting posts I have read to date! I knew that bras have been proven to not be as beneficial to our health as we had perviously thought, but I had no idea that there is a correlation between bras and breast cancer. This is scary because I know a lot of girls who were bras constantly. Why a lot of women tend to do this always confused me because my favorite part of the day is taking my bra off. I thought that the studies you found were particularly interesting. The fact that the correlation of bras with breast cancer is four times as high as the correlation between smoking and lung cancer is terrifying. While doctors still do not know if wearing a bra constantly truly does cause breast cancer, I will definitely be more cautious!

  2. Erin Ann Alessandroni

    Elisa, Wow! I found this article both shocking and interesting, specifically the quote, “They argued that the correlation of bras to breast cancer is four times greater than smoking is to lung cancer”. This seems like something that if true, would have been a huge topic in national news, seeing as this finding would effect nearly every women on the planet. This surprising potential carcinogen you referred to led me to wonder what other dangers of every day objects/ substances are being researched. Everyday Health released an article with some surprising cancer causers. “Alcoholic beverages were listed as a known human carcinogen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 1997”. Night shift work that leads to circadian disruption “was listed as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer” in 2007. This could be due to exposure to light at night which suppresses melatonin production and messes up genes involved in tumor development. In conclusion, there are so many potential causes of cancer that it would be nearly impossible to attempt avoiding all of them. If you stay away from the blatant carcinogens and attempt living a healthy life your risk will not be to significant. Here is a funny song by famous singer, Joe Jackson, about the topic of this comment. Enjoy!

  3. Stephanie Michelle Friedman

    This is an interesting topic considering many girls wear bras for literally 24 hours a day. I for one can’t wait until I get to take my bra off for the day. Although people should think about the possible risks, I don’t know if there is enough evidence to prove bras cause breast cancer. It definitely is a scary fact to think that something girls need on a daily basis could be so harmful. I agree with the others that a bra shouldn’t be worn at night especially if doctors have said not too. It would be cool to see more research done on this topic.

  4. Hinaa Noor

    Whether it is a myth or not, it might have some kind of impact that might relate to cancer. We should always try to accept some things as an awareness and just to be secure, we should not avoid them. So, it might be healthy to not wear a bra at least at night, just so you are at least trying to do something that might not prove to be true, but might also prove to be helpful in some cases.

  5. Dongyuan Li

    This is a interesting topic. I think wear bra too long during a day may be not good. I also think bra should not be too tight or too loose. According the reference I research, experts suggest do not wear bra during sleep and at least once a week do not wear bra. Eating food contain calcium, selenium like beans, fish, vegetable often will help prevent cancer. The most important thing is keeping a happy mood. Do not always getting angry. Keep back straight and be a beautiful woman.

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