Do Bras Promote Or Prevent Sagging
Sports medicine specialist Prof. Jean-Denis Rouillon carried out a 15-year study to assess whether bras cause sagging. The study involved 330 females aged 1535 years.
Rouillons findings suggested that wearing a bra can weaken the chest muscles, thereby promoting sagging. Rouillon concluded that going braless encourages the chest muscles to work harder to elevate the breasts.
There is no official published study of Rouillons findings and no peer review. As such, it is not possible to evaluate the validity of the research.
Marco Klinger, Head of the Operating Unit of Plastic Surgery at Humanitas Research Hospital in Italy, states that the study is too small to be an accurate representation of breast sagging in the general population.
According to Klinger, a wide range of variables are likely to affect breast sagging. These include:
According to a 2013 study, large breasts are associated with the following symptoms:
- neck and back pain
- nerve irritation
Many people with large breasts claim that their breasts are the cause of their back pain. However, according to the Womens Health Research Institute of Northwestern University, even large breasts are rarely the primary cause of back pain.
Instead, back pain may be due to:
- wearing a badly fitting bra
- having overweight or obesity
- injury to the back muscles
- irritation of the spinal nerves
- osteoporosis, or weakening of the spine
Do Underwire Bras Give You Cancer
For years, Camila has been a fan of underwire bras. In fact, it’s what she prefers to wear, choosing them over sports bras, push-ups and demi-cups. She likes the way the semi-circular wires sewn into the underside of the cups lift and separate her breasts. But this changed the day her mom forwarded an email that included an excerpt of the book “Dressed to Kill,” one that painted a dangerous picture of her beloved underwire bras.
Intrigued, Camila downloaded the book and read every word, only to discover the authors claimed that women who wore underwire bras for 12 or more hours a day were more at risk for developing breast cancer than women who didn’t bind their breasts at all. Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, the husband and wife team of medical anthropologists who wrote the book, posit that underwire bras don’t allow lymphatic fluid to drain properly from breast tissue. And, with all this toxin-rich fluid trapped in breast tissue, they claim cancer can’t be far behind .
In fact, there aren’t any scientifically valid studies that link wearing a bra to an increase in breast cancer, reports studies performed by the American Cancer Society. One study looked at whether breast cancer was more common in women who wore bras, as opposed to women who didn’t wear bras. Both groups of women were found to have similar breast cancer risks.
What Do I Do
- Women who delay having their first child until later in life or who never have children are at a higher risk for breast cancer. In contrast, having children at a younger age and breastfeeding decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Women who take hormonal therapy are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Being overweight or obese increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer
- Physical inactivity increases risk.
- Women who drink an average of 2 alcoholic beverages per day increase their breast cancer risk by 21%.
- High levels of radiation in the chest area before the age of 30 increase the risk.
- There is growing evidence that smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke probably increase breast cancer risk.
- The use of oral contraceptives may slightly increase the risk of developing breast cancer. Some studies have found no increased risk from taking birth control pills and others have shown an increased risk.
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Myth : They Give You Breast Cancer
Theres 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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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.
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Fact Or Fiction: Underwire Bras Cause Cancer
Is your bra killing you?
Sometimes they lift. Sometimes they separate. But do underwire bras cause cancer? Could it be that the very garment designed to offer women support is actually killing them? That’s the rumor that has been circulating for decades.
It all began in 1995 with a book called Dressed to Kill, in which Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, a husband and wife medical anthropologist team, claimed that women who wore tight-fitting bras all day, every day, had a much higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who went au naturel. The authors claimed that by inhibiting lymphatic drainage, bras trapped toxins in the breast tissue, which caused cancer.
According to critics, however, the bra-caused breast cancer theory is not supported by sufficient evidence. Scientists say the research of Singer and Grismaijer failed to exclude confounding variables such as the presence in some women of known risk factors for breast cancer. Thus, the notion of a correlation between wearing a bra and breast cancer does not appear to hold up.
“It just really is not logical in terms of what would increase your risk of breast cancer,” says Louise Brinton, chief of the hormonal and reproductive epidemiology branch of the National Cancer Institute. Brinton, who has been doing research in the field for 30 years, says commonly accepted breast cancer risk factors are generally things that affect endogenous hormone levels.
Can Your Bra Cause Breast Cancer
There are a whole host of myths out there when it comes to breast health. For years, headlines have cropped up suggesting that wearing bras causes breast cancer.
Wearing a well-fitting bra has no known negative consequences, says Amy Sanchez, Senior Research Associate in Biomechanics with the Research Group in Breast Health at the University of Portsmouth. We often get asked about cancer and bras, and existing research shows no link between bra use and breast cancer.
While bras dont cause breast cancer, that doesnt mean that they cant impact your health, she continues.
Wearing an ill-fitting bra can cause poor posture, back and neck pain, shoulder grooves leading to numbness in the fingers, and a lack of self-confidence.
An uncomfortable bra can have a big impact on body confidence and self-esteem, says Tracey-Jane Hughes, founder of Bra Lady.
If something is pressing on the breast tissue it can obviously cause discomfort. Sometimes that can cause mental health issues as well. I see a lot of women who dont like their breasts because they find them uncomfortable all because they are not wearing a well-fitting bra.
With wear, bras stretch and dont provide the same support they had when we first bought them. Our bodies also change over time so its a good idea to buy new bras regularly.
A bra will only last for about six months, says Hughes.
Is your bra harming your health?
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Two Ways Bras Affect Our Breast Health
Photo by Womanizer Toys on Unsplash
Although it may come as a surprise to many women, underwire bras may increase the risk of developing breast cancer. While bras can hinder optimal breast health , we can easily manage the risk with a few simple tips. While you may already understand the risk and tips, many of your family members, friends, and colleagues may not. Please share this information with women you care about.
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 Coopers 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 Coopers ligaments can alter their shape.
The prime example of this is free-boobing, or wearing a bra thats 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.
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Can Nipple Piercing Cause Breast Cancer
Nipple piercings have become a popular trend. But theres currently no evidence that having pierced nipples increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
However, the area pierced is at risk of infection, at the time of the piercing and as long as you wear the jewellery, possibly even longer.
Your Breasts Droop As You Get Older
TRUE. Thats due to stretching of the Coopers 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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Can Squeezing Or Being Hit In The Breast Cause Cancer
An injury, such as falling or being hit in the chest, will not cause breast cancer. Squeezing or pinching the breast or nipple will not cause breast cancer either.
It may cause bruising and swelling to the breast, which can be tender or painful to touch.
Sometimes an injury can lead to a benign lump known as fat necrosis. This is scar tissue that can form when the body naturally repairs the damaged fatty breast tissue.
So What Does Affect The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Its impossible to know for sure what caused each individual breast cancer. But the evidence from years of research has shown there are some things that can help you stack the odds of avoiding breast cancer in your favour. Keeping a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol and keeping active all make a difference, and that is backed by evidence.
There are also some other factors you cant control, such as getting older. And others may be difficult to avoid. Taking HRT and being exposed to radiation also increase the risk of breast cancer and its important women are aware of this when theyre making healthcare decisions. On the other hand, breastfeeding decreases risk, but not everyone is able to and there are other factors that can influence this decision for women.
Not all breast cancer myths focus on supposed causes of the disease. Women may have been told to check their breasts in a particular way, time or place. But they dont need to. The important thing is getting to know whats normal for you, and to tell your doctor if you notice any unusual or lasting changes.
As ever, good quality research rather than hoaxes and anecdotes is the best way to keep an eye on new potential causes of cancer.
And with clear information available on what people can do to reduce their risk, its best to ignore the scare stories.
Nikki Smith is a senior health information officer at Cancer Research UK
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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.
Can Wearing A Bra To Bed Increase Your Risk Of Breast Cancer
I wear a bra to bed, but have been told it can cause cancer. Is this true or not?”
There is no credible research showing a link between wearing, or not wearing, a bra and developing breast cancer. It has been claimed that underwire bras cause breast cancer by obstructing the lymph flow, however, there is no scientific evidence to support this theory. Wearing a bra to bed is an individual choice and you can choose to do so without worrying about an increased risk of cancer.
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Sleeping In A Bra Or Wearing It For Too Long
Our mothers have been pushing us hard not to wear a bra while sleeping, especially the underwired bras. According to our mothers and the popular myth, sleeping with the bra on restricts the pores from breathing. This restriction results in accumulation of sweat and builds-up toxins that are believed to be the hidden culprits of causing breast cancer. The same thinking goes for wearing a tight bra for too long. However, leading breast surgeons and cancer organizations have termed these myths as dubious. Though, they advise not to wear a bra that is too tight, as besides being uncomfortable, it can make you feel suffocated, thus causing breathing problems.
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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How Did This Theory Come About
The beginning of the myth came from a book called Dressed to Kill, where the authors, Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismgijer, studied the link between bras and breast cancer. The team’s theory was that “external pressure of the bra constricts the lymphatic vessels and prevents proper draining of the breast tissue, leading to fluid accumulation in the breast”. This was following the diagnosis of Grismaijer’s breast cancer whilst pregnant. The book is said to have made a huge impact on the practices of the Medical and Fashion industries.
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.
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Does Stress Cause Cancer
Theres no conclusive evidence that stress increases your risk of breast cancer.
A number of studies have looked at the links between stress and breast cancer, but there isnt enough evidence to show a clear association.
Stress can be linked to a rise in other lifestyle behaviours, such as being less active or drinking alcohol, which could increase your risk of breast cancer.
Can Wearing An Underwire Bra Cause Breast Cancer
The claim that bra-wearing can put women at serious risk for breast cancer has been around for almost 20 years. Does this idea hold any truth? Dr. Laura Hutchins, a UAMS medical oncologist who specializes in breast cancer, says that there is not enough evidence to support this idea.
According to a Scientific American article this myth began with the publication of a book in the mid-90s, that claimed that women who wear tight-fitting bras with underwire have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who do not. The authors suggest that bras can compress the lymphatic system of the breast, causing toxins to become trapped in the breast tissue to cause cancer.
The overall consensus among doctors is that neither the type of bra worn nor the tightness of undergarments has any connection to the risk of breast cancer.
Dr. Hutchins also commented that the belief that physical trauma to the breast, such as being hit or kicked, can also cause cancer.
Patients sometimes report previous trauma in the area of the breast where cancer develops at a later date, she says. So far, as can be determined, these occurrences are coincidental.
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