About a Bra – can it cause cancer?


Okay, this is one of those topics that has been out there and bounced around forever (sorry about the pun).  Can the wearing of a Bra really cause cancer?

Well it would seem, according to Singer and Grismaijer authors of ‘Dressed to Kill’ that the answer to this may very well be, probably.  These two researchers conducted a study a few years ago into the bra-wearing habits of 4000 American women, which produced some interesting results.

They studied two groups of women from 4 different cities.  The first group were cancer free, the second either had Breast Cancer or were survivors of it.  They then looked into the bra wearing habits of the women, basically how many hours a day the women wore a bra, then cross referenced this with the cancer V no cancer numbers.

The results were as follows:-

  • Did not ware a bra at all
    • in the cancer group 0.24%
    • in the non-cancer group 5%
  • Wore a Bra less than 12 hours a day
    • in the cancer group 1%
    • in the non-cancer group 19%
  • Wore a Bra more than 12 hours a day, but not too bed.
    • 81% of the cancer group
    • 73% of the non-cancer group
  • Wore a Bra 24 hours a day
    • 18% of the cancer group
    • 3% of the non-cancer group

Looking at these results it is hard not to see there is something going on here, as in each case the non-cancer group faired better (less time in a bra, the less cancer).  However, quite what that something is, is the question?

It is suggested that a bra constricts, squashes and damages the lymph nodes that are contained in and around the breast area.  If damaged, these nodes which are an important part of your body’s immune system and are responsible for draining away toxins from the body, can no longer work.  Thus toxins do not get removed and there is a build up of this toxic fluid (inflammation) in the area, which as we all know, is not a good thing.  Tissue regularly exposed to this toxic fluid, can degenerate and could become cancer.

So sounds reasonable, and if you are one of the people whose bra does not quite fit right (and that’s most of us), you will no doubt have seen the indents left by your bra when you remove it.

So who or what to believe?

The thing is, this research was not medical, was not published in a medical journal and has been criticised by the medical profession as the study did not factor in such things as age, family history and medical history,

Myself I take no comfort in the fact the medical profession is very negative towards this research, that tends to be their default stance and there is no medical proof to the contra.  Also, as someone who refused to have her own lymph nodes removed during cancer treatment (I am a firm believer in the power of a healthy lymphatic system), I am leaning towards this being a possibility.

Clearly, if we just look at the Over 12 hours V Under 12 hours figures, 19 times as many women got cancer if they wore a bra more than 12 hours, which is HUGE!

So why not ditch the bra?

For me, as bra wearing is not a habit of mine generally, it is easy to embrace this with a “why not” attitude.  However, I can see this is more difficult for some than others, particularly larger women.  So rather than dismiss the possibility outright, why not try changing to a no underwire, well fitted version instead?  Or perhaps cut down on the number of hours per day by electing to not wear a bra when at home?

Let’s face it girls, what harm could it do?

Because who knows – maybe, just maybe, Singer and Grismaijer are onto something.

Coach Lin


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  1. Coach Lin

    Please do. The feed is up and running now.
    thanks for dropping by.

  2. Joanna

    Very interesting topic! I have been wondering if there is any connection! Thank you!

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