Can Chemicals In The Environment Cause Breast Cancer
Theres no conclusive evidence that exposure to chemicals in the environment increases your risk of breast cancer.
Lots of studies have looked at the relationship between breast cancer and chemicals in the environment such as pesticides, traffic fumes and plastics, but theres no clear evidence of any links.
It can be very difficult to work out the effects of individual chemicals when we are exposed to low levels of thousands of chemicals during our lifetime.
Some studies have suggested that women who are exposed to chemicals in their jobs, for example in the manufacturing industry, may be at higher risk of breast cancer. But the evidence is weak and more research is needed. Employers are legally required to limit exposure to chemicals that may cause cancer.
Do Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer
Underwire bras do not increase your risk of breast cancer.
There have been some concerns that the wires in the cup of underwire bras may restrict the flow of lymph fluid in the breast causing toxins to build up in the area. However, theres no reliable evidence to support this.
If your bra is too tight or too small, the wires can dig into your breasts and cause discomfort, pain or swelling. Find out more about wearing a well-fitting bra.
What Does The Best Science Say
To settle the question, a team of scientists from the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, WA, conducted a careful study of the question. In a 2014 study entitled, Bra wearing not associated with breast cancer risk: a population based case-control study, about 1500 women, two-thirds with breast cancer and one-third without cancer, were asked about their bra wearing habits. This population-based case-control study found no evidence that any aspect of bra wearing is associated with risk of breast cancer. In particular the risk did not vary by daily duration of wearing a bra, age when women started wearing a bra, bra cup size, or whether women wore a bra with an underwire.
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Myth : They Make Your Breasts Droop
No way. If anything, they might keep you perkier for longer.
“The breast can change shape over time due to structures called Cooper’s ligaments these are like rubber bands that help give lift and support, and which become more lax as we age,” says Roshani Patel, MD, breast surgical oncologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. “Anything that causes stress on the Cooper’s ligaments can alter their shape.”
The prime example of this is free-boobing, or wearing a bra that’s not supportive enough so that your breasts hang down, stretching out these ligaments.
Because sports bras generally offer more support than a regular bra, we asked Dr. Patel whether they might actually help prevent breast sagging: “Theoretically and logically, the answer would be yes,” she says. “But there is no clinical data on this.”
Can Bras Affect Breast Growth
If you wear a bra that’s either a little bit big or a little too small, will it cause your chest to not grow? Gilly*
No. A girl’s bra won’t affect the growth of her breasts. That’s because genes and hormones control breast growth, not what a girl wears.
Bras don’t make breasts grow or stop growing, but wearing the right-size bra may help you feel more comfortable. Bras that are too small may cause breast pain because of how sensitive some girls’ breasts can be as they grow. And bras that are too big won’t offer enough support, which could also lead to discomfort if your breasts move or bounce around too much. Find a bra that’s the right size for you and comfortable to wear.
Want your breasts to develop the way nature intended? Eat a variety of healthy foods and exercise regularly. And don’t worry if you don’t develop at the same rate as your friends. Some girls develop earlier, others later. A girl’s breasts can keep growing and changing into her late teens.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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The Lymphatic System Detoxifies The Breasts
Left Chest Lymphatics. Source: Annals of Surgical Oncology.
The lymphatic system helps to detoxify the body by removing unwanted toxins and waste products. With over 100,000 miles of lymph vessels, it is an intricate and delicate system.
While we rely on the lymph system to collect and remove toxins and waste products from breast tissue, we can hinder its effectiveness.
Too much pressure applied against breast tissue can restrict lymph flow, leading to the accumulation of fluid and harmful products, potentially contributing to pain, tender lumps, cysts or cancer.
Sports Bras Made For Breast Cancer Survivors
Sometimes, a mastectomy can make you feel like theres a cap on the activities you can enjoy. Activities you used to love, such as exercising, may now seem inaccessible or scary to perform in public.
While we understand the emotional toll breast cancer can take on survivors, at MastectomyShop.com, we firmly believe that nothing should ever stop you from doing the things you love. We offer a wide variety of mastectomy sports bras to help you feel comfortable when you exercise.
Mastectomy sports bras adapt to your post-surgery body in ways that ordinary sports bras simply do not. Here are three different sports bras made specifically to cater to the needs of breast cancer survivors:
High-Support Bras: Anita Extreme Control Post-Mastectomy Bra
When choosing a post-mastectomy sports bra, its crucial to pick a bra adapted to the intensity of the activities you participate in. For high-impact activities , high-support bras are the best option.
The Anita Extreme Control post-mastectomy bra comes with features designed with the needs of breast cancer survivors who wish to practice rigorous sports.
Medium-Support Bra: AmoenaZipper Mastectomy Bra
If your go-to workouts are activities of a similar impact level as hiking or cycling, then medium-support bras such as the Amoena zipper mastectomy bra are for you.
Light-Support Bra: Coobie Fusion Yoga Bra
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Are There Any Side Effects From Sleeping In A Bra
Just like there are no major benefits to sleeping with a bra, there are also no major negative consequences to sleeping in one.
No published data says there is any detriment to sleeping in a bra, such as breast cancer effects, bad blood circulation, or stunted breast growth, says Samuels.
If theres any cause for concern at all, its simply that you shouldnt wear a bra thats too tight or digging into your skin, which could cause skin irritation and disrupted sleep.
Just make sure its the right size bra and the proper fit to prevent things like a fungal infection under the breasts, which can happen if the bra doesnt tuck under the breast properly, resulting in skin touching skin, says Hampton.
Sports bras arent better or worse for sleeping, but this issue is more common with ill-fitting sports bras.
Lastly, as with any piece of garment that comes in close contact with your skin, bras often accumulate tons of sweat, oil, and bacteria. Make sure you wash it often to prevent skin issues like irritation and acne breakouts.
Your Breasts Droop As You Get Older
TRUE. Thats due to stretching of the Cooper’s ligaments, the connective tissue in your breasts that helps keep ’em up and looking perky. Like all the tissue in your body, theyre made up of collagen and elastin, which break down as you age, explains Dan Mills, MD, vice president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. In addition, as you go through menopause, dense glandular tissue is replaced by fat thats more likely to droop, he says.
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If In Doubt Check It Out
Though no link has been proven between wearing a bra and your risk of breast cancer, it does make sense to ensure that the bra you are wearing is comfortable. Breast pain and tenderness can often be associated with poorly fitting bras so if you are experiencing this it may be worth arranging a professional bra fitting. If you still have any concerns about your breasts during your routine breast self-exam, you may want to schedule a clinical breast exam by your doctor or a if youre over 40.
And Let’s Not Forget About The Mental Health Aspect Too
When it comes to letting your girls hang freely, it’s easy to fixate on body-related questions such as, “does not wearing a bra cause sagging?” But going braless can have an impact on your brain too.
“There’s something very empowering about not wearing a bra,” says Dr. Ross. “For many women, it’s the first thing you take off when you get home after a long day at work.” That being said, if you’re finding it hard to concentrate and work from home as productively as you do at the office, you may want to consider wearing ‘work clothes,’ a bra included. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology discussed a concept known as ‘enclothed cognition,’ and showed that what you’re wearing can actually impact performance and attention. This particular study focused on doctors and lab coats, so extrapolating the effects to a bra might be a stretch.
So, point being: it may be worth popping on a bra, and even jeans, to see if ditching PJs boosts your work productivity even if you are working from your living room. Consider trying a soft and seamless cami or bralette , which Dr. Madrigrano says is a good option, particularly for those women who don’t have super large breasts.
The keyword here is “comfort.” Especially in this unprecedented and bizarre world that’s currently unfolding, it’s more important than ever to do things that make you feel good and comfortable. And if not wearing a bra for a while will do that, then so be it. Your girls will be okay.
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Bra Mistakes To Avoid
We now know that wearing a bra or not wearing a bra has no direct correlation with breast cancer or breast sagging . So, where do women often go wrong when it comes to wearing bras?
Not wearing the right bra size
According to Dr. Blake, not wearing the right size seems to be a common issue.
A lot of women wear the wrong bra size. When you wear the wrong size, particularly if youre wearing an underwire bra, that could be painful because the wire isnt sitting in the proper location. Another thing is that women may gain or lose weight and still wear their favorite bra. By that point, the bra isnt the right cup size or band length for them any longer.
To prevent any possible fit problems, Dr. Blake suggests getting professionally fitted for a bra from time to time at a department store or a lingerie shop.
Not wearing a bra thats suited for your activity
Workouts are no match for your everyday bra. Dr. Blake recommends wearing a bra that supports your level of activity.
Purchase a bra with the right amount of support for the activity youre doing. You might not want to wear a sports bra with a lot of support while youre binge-watching TV. But if youre running, get a bra with better support, especially if you wear a larger cup size.
Do Mobile Phones Cause Breast Cancer
Theres no evidence that radiation from mobile phones has any effect on your risk of developing breast cancer.
Some people worry that radio waves produced and received by mobile phones may be a health risk, especially if they keep their phone in their breast pocket.
However, theres currently no evidence that radio waves from mobile phones cause breast cancer or increase the risk of developing it.
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Why Would Anyone Think That
In the United States, most women wear a bra for breast support. Wearing a bra can decrease the strain on Coopers suspensory ligaments and reduce back pain. Bra-related breast support reduces the risk of damage to fat tissue in the breast associated with vigorous physical activity, and decreases bothersome pain symptoms in women who are breastfeeding a baby.
Unsubstantiated claims in the lay media have linked bra use as a possible risk factor for breast cancer. How? Constraining breast tissue, so the thinking goes, may harm lymphatic drainage, and with it the removal of waste and toxins from the breast.
Although few well-designed studies on the topic exist, no studies to date have found a link between breast cancer and bra use. The study from Fred Hutchinson researchers shows no connection. Ditto the only earlier study of the subject, from the Harvard School of Public Health.
This may not be the last word on the subject, since the Fred Hutchinson study had some limitations. Interviewing women after they had developed breast cancer can lead to recall bias, particularly with regards to historical data such as the age at which they started wearing a bra. In addition, the study included only women who wore bras. A prospective cohort study that recruited women who do not wear bras and following them over time would be a better way to observe the link or lack of one between wearing a bra and breast cancer.
The Pros: Sports Bras Are Comfy And Offer Great Support
Theres a reason why sports bras are the preferred undergarment for intense activities like running, cycling, or virtual aerobic classes. Available in three types of impactlow, medium, and highsports bras are specifically designed to keep jiggling at bay. In fact, that packed-in feeling offers a lot more than comfort. You know how your boobs bounce up and down when youre working out and not wearing a supportive sports bra? Research shows that all that movement can slowly but surely whittle away at your connective tissue, which ultimately makes up the shape of your breasts.
Our breasts are made up of ligaments and tissue, explains Jené Luciani Sena, bra expert and author of The Bra Book. Over time, that movement of going up and down contributes to the stretching in that area. Most women dont want to have saggy breasts not only for aesthetic reasons, but a comfort reason. It can be painful!
Of course, supporting your breast tissue is only one part of the equation. According to John Paul Tutela, MD, a board certified plastic surgeon, wearing a bra can keep your skin from stretching.
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So Is An Underwire Always Necessary
“As far as I am aware there has been little research done specifically on bralettes,” says Sanchez. “We have, however, tested several non-wired bras and these can be effective at supporting the breast if constructed well. There are many different materials and techniques used in the bra industry and from my experience, I feel it is no longer essential for a bra to have underwire to provide good support.”
Bralettes aren’t one size fits all. What works for one woman might not work for another, and sometimes that can lead to pain and problems with the breasts, she continues.
“Wearing no bra or a low-support bra can cause the skin to stretch beyond its elastic limit, leading to permanent deformation and premature sagging of the breast. There is also plenty of research to show that wearing low breast support leads to increased breast pain and reduced movement efficiency during exercise or physical activity.”
Body shape can make all the difference when it comes to buying a bra. “Some women with larger breasts may not get the support they need from a bralette,” explains Hughes. “They are likely to end up with neck ache or back ache because it’s not supportive enough.”
Myth : They Give You Breast Cancer
There’s zero truth to the theory that the extra pressure from a tight sports bra can prevent your body from releasing toxins, leading to disease. “Wearing a sports bra all the time does not compress the lymph nodes or cause cancer,” Dr. Patel says.
In fact, she actually recommends a compressive bra to breast cancer patients to help prevent breast lymphedema after surgery and radiation.
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Your Bra Could Be Killing You
The idea that wearing an underwired bra can cause breast cancer has been around since 1995, when Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer published their book Dressed to Kill, which claimed there was a link. The idea was revived last year when a practitioner of alternative medicine wrote an essay on Gwyneth Paltrows website, Goop. What these people have in common is that none of them is a cancer researcher or medical doctor.
Singer and Grismaijers study was not reviewed by medical experts and published in a respected journal, as is the norm for bona fide scientific discoveries. According to a version of their story now doing the rounds on Twitter, they interviewed more than 4,000American women and discovered that women who dont wear bras have a 1 in 168 chance of developing breast cancer, as opposed to a 3 in 4 chance for those who wear a bra 24 hours a day.
Their explanation is that underwired bras block circulation of lymphatic fluid, causing breasts to swell with toxins . It is unlikely, though, that that lymph fluidwould be trapped by an underwire, because it doesnt flow in that direction, and a properly fitting bra prevents breast ligaments from overstretching. Scientists have also criticised Dressed to Kill for not taking into account known risk factors for breast cancer, most notably obesity, which increases the likelihood a woman will wear a bra for longer periods.