Bras and Breast Cancer - The Significant Link

Bras And Breast Cancer -- The Significant Link

Breast disease, which includes fibrocystic breast disease (lumps) and breast cancer, is epidemic in Canada and throughout the so-called "First World."

Until recently, women have been told that there is no known way to prevent these diseases. In place of prevention, women have been advised to get regular X-rays of their breasts, called mammograms, to look for tumors once they appear, and then to treat the disease with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, all of which are extremely controversial and of questionable value. In fact, irradiating breast tissue with mammograms has recently come under increasing attack, since radiation itself is one cause of breast cancer. Mammograms have not been shown to reduce either incidence or mortality.

Fortunately, there's a new breakthrough in breast cancer research. It is possible for women to take cost-free and risk-free measures to prevent breast disease, and even to recover breast health. This breakthrough is the discovery that the wearing of tight bras is a major cause of breast disease, leading to fibrocystic breast disease and cancer.

I arrived at this understanding of bras and their affect on breasts by approaching the problem of breast cancer from my perspective as an applied medical anthropologist. Relying on a background in biochemistry, anthropology and medicine, I examined the ways in which our lifestyles are making us sick.

According to the World Health Organization, 70-80 per cent of deaths in North America are due to lifestyle. Lifestyle refers to attitudes and behaviors, and such problems as heart disease and cancer are recognized as mostly lifestyle associated. Breast cancer has been known to be culturally related for some time, with only three to five percent of all cases having a possible genetic basis. But discovering which lifestyles are responsible for breast cancer has been difficult for biology-oriented medical researchers who have not been trained to consider cultural factors in their research, factors which could explain the attitude and behaviors of women regarding their breasts. From my perspective, there is no such disease as "breast cancer." There is cancer which is manifested in a woman's breasts.

The point is that we cannot fully understand breasts without understanding women. And you cannot understand women without studying culture and how it conditions women to treat their breasts. Throughout the world, the only cultures where breast cancer is epidemic is where bras are worn. Where there are no bras, there is little breast disease!

I conducted a two year Bra and Breast Cancer Study in the United States, in which I interviewed nearly 5,000 women about their attitude and behaviors regarding breast and bras. About half of the women had breast cancer. I discovered that the women with breast cancer had a history of tighter and longer bra wearing than did the women who had not (yet) developed the disease. In fact, virtually all of the cancer group wore bras over 12 hours daily, with 18 per cent even sleeping with their bras, which means they wore bras 24 hours daily. In contrast, the comparison group had 25 per cent of the women either bra-free or wearing bras less than 12 hours daily. Only three per cent of this group slept with their bras on.

This groundbreaking study revealed a link between bras and breast cancer that is three times greater than the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer! There was a 125 fold increase in breast cancer incidence between women who were bra-free and those who wore bras 24 hours daily. Wearing a bra over 12 hours daily conferred a 113 fold increase in breast cancer incidence, compared with bra-free women.

Bras which are designed to change breast shape must do so by applying pressure. This pressure hampers the circulation of the breasts, especially of the lymphatic system. This system consists of tiny, thin walled vessels that drain fluid, called lymph, from the breast tissue, removing toxins, cell debris, cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, and other products from the breasts. The fluid travels along these lymphatic vessels to lymph nodes. These nodes are small organs that are central to the immune system, and are the site of white blood cell production. These are the cells which assist our bodies in fighting infection. The lymph is filtered in the nodes. If needed the nodes can mount an immune response which is characterized by node swelling as new white blood cells are produced.

Virtually all of our tissues drain through the lymphatics, which is essentially the circulatory pathway of the immune system. However, unlike arteries and veins, these vessels have no internal pressure. As a result, they are easily compressed by external pressure, leading to congestion of the tissues that would otherwise have been drained.

In the breasts, the majority of the lymphatic drainage goes to the armpit lymph nodes. When a woman wears a tight bra, she subjects her breast to pressure, closing off the lymphatic pathway from the breast to the nodes. This causes fluid build-up, swelling, tenderness and cyst formation. Fibrocystic breast disease should be renamed "tight bra syndrome." Women who stop wearing their bras altogether report complete recovery from pain, swelling, cysts and lumpiness within weeks.

Tight Bras Lead To Breast Cancer

The problem caused by bras is essentially a mechanical interference with the breast lymphatic drainage. However, in today's world, we are all exposed to hazardous, cancer-causing toxins in our food, air, water and medications. Pesticides, herbicides, and other chemical contaminants enter our bodies and must be cleared away, along with the damage they caused. This is the basis of the dietary connection with cancer. It is through our diets that we get exposed to many toxins, especially the fat-soluble toxins that are found in the fatty part of our foods. High fat diets are associated with cancer, not because of the fat itself (which people have been consuming for thousands, if not millions of years), but because of the toxin content of fats produced in our chemical-dependent food production system.

Once in our tissues, these toxins must be flushed out via the lymphatics. However, a bra-constricted breast cannot adequately perform this cleansing process, resulting in toxin accumulation in the breasts. Given the fact that modern Western fashions make the breasts the most highly constricted part of a woman's body, it makes sense that the breasts are the site for more cancer than any other body part.

One major reason women wear bras is the myth that bras are needed for "support." This myth assumes that the female body was created with a flaw pertaining to shape. Of course, this apparent "flaw" is a reflection of a fashion image which demands that women have their breasts higher on their chest walls than nature intended, and which can be achieved only with the purchase of a product - the brassiere.

In fact, bras are creating droopy, weak breasts, the exact opposite of what this myth claims. As the breast relies on the bra for artificial support, the body loses its ability to support the breast by itself. For women who have been strapped in since puberty, they may have never adequately developed their bodies' own breast support system, leading many women to feel uncomfortable without a bra for support, a feeling that leads many women to 24 hour daily wearing. Interestingly, the corset and girdle industry, which is related to the bra industry, promoted their garments by spreading a similar myth about the need for abdominal support. Of course, women soon realized that girdles and corsets caused weaker abdominal muscles as their bodies began to rely on the garments for support.

The great news is that breast disease can be virtually eliminated. Don't wear a bra! I am currently conducting a Bra Impact Study, in which physicians are encouraging their patients to go bra-free for eight weeks and to record changes in their breast tenderness, lumpiness and swelling. My experience so far shows a remarkable success rate for recovery from fibrocystic breast disease within 10 days to two weeks of going bra-free. In fact, not one woman who has tried this experiment on herself has not found relief from breast cysts. Since bras are the cause of the disease, getting rid of the cause solves the problem.

Recommended Reading:

Dressed to Kill - The Link Between Breast Cancer & Bras


by S. R. Singer/S. Grismaijer (sc) 192pp $16.95

Canadian Health Reform Products Ltd.


By Sydney Ross Singer

Share this with your friends