When medical anthropologists Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer questioned women about their bra-wearing habits they uncovered some shocking correlations:
- 3 out of 4 women who wore their bras 24 hours a day developed breast cancer.
- Women who wear their bras 24 hours a day have a 125-fold, or 12,500% higher, chance of getting breast cancer than women who do not wear a bra at all.
- 1 out of 7 women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed developed breast cancer.
- 1 out of 152 women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day got breast cancer.
- 1 out of 168 women who rarely or never wore bras got breast cancer.
What could be behind this set of correlations?
Breasts are loaded with lymphatic tissue, and the lymphatic system is the body’s waste clean-up system.
Bras – which restrict lymphatic flow in and around the breasts – increase congestion in this area, slowing down clearance of toxins from the breasts. The toxins pool and concentrate, and this increases the risk of breast diseases, including breast cancer.
But the bra-less look is not always a good one…and won’t going bra-free cause your breasts to sag?
This second one is largely a myth. In fact, it is possible that the constant artificial support of a bra is more likely to cause sagging than prevent it as the body’s ligaments – including those in the breasts – are known to atrophy when not in use.
Personally, I ditched underwired bras around a year ago when this information first came on my radar – except for special occasions when I’m wearing a dress that demands one (a rarity). I now wear a fitted camisole most days.
If what I’m wearing doesn’t work with a cami, I go for a non-wired bra. In the warmer months I often wear bikini tops under my clothes – they are effectively non-wired bras.
SO…the take-home message is:
- Don’t wear underwired bras – choose non-wired ones instead or, if possible, wear a camisole or other vest top with built-in support.
- Make sure your bra is not too tight. If it’s leaving red marks on your shoulders or back, it’s affecting your lymphatic system.
- Go bra-less whenever you can, including when you’re relaxing at home.
- Don’t wear a bra at night.
Go here to read essential cancer prevention tips from Thomas Lodi, M.D., founder of the Oasis of Healing cancer clinic in Mesa, Arizona.