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.
Some 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 researchers 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?