Attention Ladies: It Might Be Time to Ditch Your Bra!

Although not accepted as being societally appropriate, abandoning your bra wherever and whenever possible might actually be beneficial for your health. Even more importantly, it could reduce your risk of breast cancer dramatically.

For the past 30 years, researchers have been investigating the possible link between breast cancer and bras. Before you take comfort in the beliefs of the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the New York Times that this is a hoax, there is more compelling scientific information you might want to know.

The Research is Compelling

  • In 1991, the European Journal of Cancer noted that reproductive-aged women who did not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer as compared with bra users. Yep, you read that right: a 50% reduction of risk.
  • Women from other cultures including Japan and Fiji, who were typically non-bra-wearers, had a significantly higher likelihood of developing breast cancer when they began wearing bras.
  • Japanese researchers found that bras can lower melatonin levels, especially when worn at night as is common for larger-breasted women. Melatonin has strong anticancer properties and has been used in breast cancer prevention and treatment.
  • Dr. John MacDougall, MD, wrote an article in the Lancet that implicated bra usage with breast inflammation resulting in cysts, lumps, scar tissue and plugged milk ducts, all of which are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.

Along the base of the breast against the chest wall and into the axillary or armpit area, there are tiny lymphatic vessels that help remove toxins from the breast tissue. These vessels deliver oxygen and other vital nutrients to the cells in order to remain healthy. Tight bras and underwires will restrict lymphatic drainage and promote collection of toxic waste materials in the breast tissue. As well, Dr. George Goodheart, DC, believed that underwire bras create an “Antenna Effect” which can cause otherwise healthy cells to become dysfunctional.

The Statistics are Shocking

And if all of that isn’t enough, in their book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, authors Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer present compelling research after spending two years interviewing over 4,000 women in five major US cities. Half of the women they interviewed had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This is what they found:

  • 75% of women who slept in their bras developed breast cancer
  • 1 in 7 who wore their bras over 12 hours per day developed breast cancer
  • 1 in 168 who did not wear a bra developed breast cancer
  • Within one month of tossing their bras, women with cysts, breast pain and/or tenderness saw a dramatic reduction of symptoms

So why hasn’t the media or the medical profession disseminated this important information? Suffice it to say that politics and economics make a wonderful bedfellows and will do whatever it takes to suppress the information as long as possible.

What You Can Do Now

  • Go braless as often as you can. This allows the breast tissue to ‘breathe’ and will encourage the muscles and ligaments to gain tone and strength as they begin to bear the weight again.
  • Do not wear a bra to bed.
  • If you’re self-conscious when going out, consider wearing nipple pads or thicker camisoles and tank tops.
  • If you must wear a bra, opt for no-underwire bras if at all possible. Or, you can remove your existing underwires by cutting a small hole at the end of the wire enclosure and pulling it out. Don’t be fooled by the appearance of plastic supports – many of them are metal with a plastic covering.

It’s time to be proactive when it comes to breast health. Just a few simple changes can have a profound impact on how well your body thrives despite the challenges it may face. Improving your health happens one step at a time. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey!

Dr. Joseph Wahl