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Underwire Bras And Breast Cancer

Do Underwire Bras Really Cause Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Myths BUSTED! | Quint Fit

Making healthy lifestyle decisions is a choice as well as a key part of breast cancer prevention. Patients, thrivers and any one of us at high risk know that in order to find balance and live fuller lives, it’s important to eat well, exercise and avoid unhealthy habits like smoking. Yet, a few decades ago, a groundbreaking report about lingerie threw us all a curveball: Is there a link between underwire bras and breast cancer? According to the report, the numbers were bleak. The science was alarming. And the lingerie industry was in a panic. Fortunately, we now know that underwire bras do not cause breast cancer. But lets take a look at how this report raised concerns about restrictive underwires and what we learned when we took a closer look at the industry. It turns out, when we started examining the potential causes for breast cancer and whether or not our bras were to blame we started making changes to our intimate apparel design and choices.

Underwires and Cancer

Could wearing a bra put us at higher risk for breast cancer? That was the question on everyones mind after a bombshell study published in the early nineties. Researchers from Harvard University looked at a large group of women 5,000 to be exact and found that those who wore bras for more than 12 hours a day dramatically increased their risk of breast cancer. The numbers were frightening. So frightening, it turned the lingerie industry on its head.

Causation vs. Correlation

Under the Wire

Can Bras Cause Cancer

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.

Myth : Going Braless Reduces The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Another myth about going braless is that it could reduce a persons risk of developing breast cancer.

This myth is based on the idea that wearing a bra affects lymphatic drainage, which is the process that helps remove toxins and waste products from the body. A problem with lymphatic drainage can cause these substances to accumulate in the bloodstream, potentially increasing a persons risk of developing cancer.

According to the

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Can Working Night Shifts Cause Breast Cancer

Although it was previously thought working night shifts may increase breast cancer risk, the latest research has found people who work night shifts are at no greater risk of breast cancer than those who dont.

This is the case regardless of the type of work and the age someone starts night shifts.

We offer free talks to workplaces and community groups by trained staff and volunteers. The talks cover topics such as the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, as well as dispelling common myths and misconceptions.

Wearing A Bra Doesnt Increase Your Risk For Breast Cancer

Annette Underwire Mastectomy Bra

Well bust this myth right off the bat. Despite what you might have heard, Dr. Blake says wearing a bra doesnt increase your chances of getting breast cancer.

From a breast cancer standpoint, wearing a bra doesnt impact your risk of breast cancer. Ive been asked before if underwire bras can affect someones breast cancer risk and they do not. So, wearing a bra doesnt increase, nor does it decrease, your risk for breast cancer.

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Genetics Doesnt Play As Much Of A Role As You May Think

For some people with a really strong family history of breast cancer the risk tied to inherited faulty genes is important. The most famous of these are the BRCA genes. But the total number of breast cancer cases caused by inherited faulty genes is smaller than you might believe based on the media attention they often receive. Its actually fewer than 3 in 100 cases of breast cancer that are caused by inherited faulty genes.

How Tight Should My Post

The ideal fit for a post-surgery bra should be snug but not tight. The best indicator that your bra fits correctly is that its comfortable, and although you might feel some pressure, this isnt excessive or painful. Signs that your bra is too tight include: the straps or edges leaving marks on your skin.

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Why Does The False Theory Of Bras Causing Breast Cancer Persist

Its not clear why a theory that bras cause breast cancer, a theory that has been thoroughly disproven, persists. Perhaps it comes from the frustration of not knowing what causes the disease, coupled with a desire that the disease should come from the outside, from something a woman can control.

In any case, lets stop worrying about breast cancer being caused by wearing a bra!

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How Long After Breast Surgery Can You Wear A Wire Bra

BREAST CANCER JOURNEY | PostOp Bras Tips & Tricks After Surgery

Support garments, such as sports bras are very important in relation to your healing and recovery from breast surgery. That noted, when you have breast implant surgery or breast enlargement, wearing underwire bras is not a good idea. In fact, you need to avoid wearing underwire bras for up to 6 MONTHS after surgery.

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What Bras Should I Wear In The First Year After Breast Surgery And Beyond

In the first year after breast surgery , its best to wear a bra that has:

  • a wide underband
  • deep front and side panels
  • fully adjustable straps
  • minimal detailing

It may take up to a year for the area to recover from surgery, the nerves to repair and any skin changes from radiotherapy to settle down. The type of bra you need may also change because of weight and other treatment-related changes during this time.

Its best to avoid wearing an underwired bra while the area recovers after surgery because the underwires can be uncomfortable.

Initially after breast surgery you may have swelling. Try to find a bra that fits on the loosest hook so it can be worn looser to begin with and then gradually tightened as the swelling goes down.

Where possible, choose bras that have a high cotton content. These will be gentler on your skin while it heals and will help you stay cooler if youre experiencing hot flushes.

Bra strap cushions can make the straps more comfortable on your shoulder and help the bra stay in place. You can buy these from lingerie shops or online.

Once the skin in the chest area has healed and settled down, which may take up to a year, you can wear less restrictive bras. However, if youre planning to wear a breast prosthesis they should still be well-fitting and have a full cup.

Our Your guide to a well-fitting bra leaflet includes illustrations and practical tips on how to make sure your bra fits comfortably and gives proper support.

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Taking Responsibility For Your Health

Change takes time and has to overcome obstacles such as powerful profit-driven corporations and big pharma. The sad fact is, while we wait for change, we accrue many casualties.

There are so many contributing factors to dis-ease, from repressed emotions to diet and lifestyle and environmental toxins. While there are some things out of our control, theres also much thats within it. One of the biggest is taking back responsibility.

What Im talking about is action rather than reaction. Response-ability rather than reaction.

Taking responsibility doesnt mean blaming yourself for becoming ill, it means acknowledging that there are many factors that contributed to an imbalance in your system that has resulted in dis-ease. It means taking yourself out of the victim mentality and empowering yourself with the knowledge and tools to enhance your wellbeing and health.

As soon as you start taking responsibility for your wellbeing you cease to become a victim. Victims are powerless, things happen to them, its all out of their control. If you cease to become a victim you regain your power, you move out of fear paralysis and you can begin to take action.

You have to follow your gut instincts, always. And this is the most crucial part of responsibility. Not handing your health over to others to make conclusions on, but empowering yourself with information so you can make your own decisions and conclusions. This is what responsibility means.

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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.

Can Wearing A Bra Cause Breast Cancer

Wacoal Awareness Underwire Full

There are several persistent email and internet rumors about potential causes of breast cancer. One is that wearing a bra, or wearing an underwire bra, causes the disease.

The idea that bras may cause cancer was fueled by the 1995 book called Dressed to Kill by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer. It claims that women who wear underwire bras for 12 hours a day have a much higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who do not wear bras.They maintain that bras restrict the lymph system, which results in a build-up of toxins in the breasts. However, according to the American Cancer Society, there is no evidence that compression of the lymph nodes by bras causes breast cancer in reality, body fluids travel up and into the underarm lymph nodes, not towards the underwire. Similarly, there is no sufficient evidence that going braless will help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

Even if women who wear underwire bras are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, a likely explanation would be that many women with larger breasts also tend to be heavier. Being overweight or having a lot of body fat puts a woman at increased risk for breast cancer. It would make sense that women with larger breasts are both more likely to wear underwire bras and more likely to develop breast cancer. But this doesnt mean that underwire bras cause breast cancer!

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Breast Cancer Is Widely Prevalent And Is Caused Due To Various Risk Factors However There Is A Myth That Wearing An Underwire Bra Can Lead To Breast Cancer

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So many women across the world battle the menace of breast cancer. The World Health Organization observed that there were 7.8 million women alive, who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 5 years. This makes this disease, the worlds most prevalent cancer. While there are various factors associated with breast cancer, there is a growing trend of linking underwire bras with breast cancer.

A number of women wear an underwire bra, for reasons ranging from the support and upliftment it provides to its aesthetic advantages. However, there is a myth that wearing this particular type of bra can cause breast cancer.

To better understand the particulars of whether any link exists between wearing an underwire bra and prevalence of breast cancer, we spoke to Dr Sunita Varma, Director, Obs and Gynaecology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh.

Can wearing an underwire bra cause breast cancer?

According to Dr Varma, it does not cause breast cancer. She adds that there is a myth that it blocks the lymphatic flow and blood flow, due to its tight fitting, leading to breast cancer. And the expert also pointed out that this myth has been disproved.

She explained how there are various risk factors associated with breast cancer, such as obesity, alcohol consumption, late stage pregnancy, family history, and genetic disposition.

What is breast cancer?
Symptoms and diagnosis

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?

Photo by Womanizer Toys on Unsplash

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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

These risk factors include how old a woman is and the age at which she had her first child. Breast-feeding and exercise are thought to lower risk, whereas a family history of the disease increases it. Scientists also know that 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations.

Sports Bras Made For Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast Cancer 9

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, 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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Can Ivf Cause Breast Cancer

Theres no evidence that having IVF treatment affects your risk of breast cancer.

Current evidence suggests women who have received IVF treatment are no more likely to develop breast cancer than women who have not had IVF. However, IVF is a relatively new procedure and more research is needed to be sure of all the long-term health effects.

Underwire Tight Or Badly Fitting Bras And Breast Cancer

It is a popular myth that metal underwires , tight or badly fitting bras cause compression in the chest area. This is claimed to cause breast cancer by preventing the lymph system from clearing toxins. Common scientific theory of breast cancer cause, however, is that geneA sequence in the DNA which can be passed down from parent to child. Genes helps determine physical and functional traits for the body. mutations lead to cells dividing suddenly and rapidly . This is not believed to have anything to do with the lymph system. Experts agree that the clothing you choose to wear should have no impact at all on your risk of developing breast cancer.

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Whats The Link Between Breasts Bras And Lymph

So, lets segway back to the link between underwire bras and breast cancer and equip ourselves with some information.

Ive written aboutthe lymphatic system and its well worth a read before you dive in here as once you know the function of the lymph you begin to understand its role in this story.

Lymph is a vital component of our immune function. It doesnt have a pump, like the heart, so it requires manual muscle movement to pump it through the body. This means that when lymph is restricted from moving, it cant do its job of cleaning and clearing bacteria, debris and toxicity from the cells, which can then cause a build-up of toxicity.

The reason Im talking about lymph is that it has such a crucial function in processing of toxic waste out of the body, cleaning and feeding the cells. And what studies have found is that tight-fitting underwired bras negatively impact that lymphatic flow around the breast area – a crucial area right next to the armpit lymph nodes.

In a major study, Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer interviewed 4,700 women in five major U.S. cities over two years. Half the women had been diagnosed with breast cancer. In summary they found:

  • 75% of women who slept in their bras developed breast cancer

  • 1 in 7 who wore their bras 12+ hours per day developed breast cancer

  • 1 in 168 who did not wear a bra developed breast cancer

  • Within one month of ditching their bras, women with cysts, breast pain, or tenderness found their symptoms disappeared.


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