Your Bra May Be Killing You

Your Bra May Be Killing You

The Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society (ACS) contend that there is no link between wearing a bra and developing breast cancer. However, at least five studies have demonstrated that wearing a bra for a significant portion of the day IS associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. Some scientists believe that Komen and the ACS should be boycotted because of the lives that they claim this cover-up is costing.

According to medical anthropologists Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, the issue with bras is that they obstruct lymphatic fluid flow, trapping poisons in the breast where they have nowhere else to go. Because the lymphatic fluid lodges in the lower limbs and isn't permitted to flow, they liken it to the feet and ankle swelling that happens on lengthy flights.


Singer and Grismaijer, co-authors of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, say that wearing a bra more than 12 hours a day dramatically increases the risk of getting breast cancer. A woman who wears a bra 24/7 is 125 times more likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who rarely or never wears a bra. Those who sleep in their bra, they found, have a 75% chance of developing breast cancer at some point in their lives.

Harvard did a study in 1991 that showed greatly increased incidence in breast cancer in those who wear bras over those who don’t.

This research has been shown to the Susan G. Komen Foundation as well as the American Cancer Society, and they have been aware of the research for at least 20 years. There are no studies that refute this. Yet nowhere in their information about breast cancer is there as much as a mention that taking off one’s bra at the end of the day can make a difference. That omission of information is what has Singer and Grismaijer so frustrated. It is why they are “calling for a boycott of these organizations until they stop dismissing the bra-cancer link, and begin educating doctors and women about the cancer hazards of wearing tight bras.”

Even limiting the wearing of tight bras can make a difference. Women who wear a bra more than 12 hours, but not to bed, have an one in seven risk of breast cancer, but wearing it less than 12 hours reduces her risk to one in 152, while cutting it out completely carries a one in 168 risk. Midwife Lisa Goldstein recommends that women take off the bra when they get home and massage the tissue that has been compressed to get the lymphatic fluids flowing properly.

Komen and the ACS could use some of their money to research this connection further, and possibly spare millions of women, yet they have chosen to cover up the research and stone-wall those who try to inform the public. While many of the Komen Foundation’s executives earn six-figure salaries, little or no money goes to research or educate the public about simple things that can make a huge difference. The Inquistr has reported that one Komen CEO was paid a salary of $417,000 in 2010.

It is notable, also, that many studies have linked breastfeeding with up to a 50% reduction in breast cancer, yet nowhere do the pink public service announcements and fund-raising campaigns tell young women this valuable information. La Leche League is the organization that has been responsible for getting that information out, but their budget is tiny compared to the deep pockets of Komen and the ACA.

Singer and Grismaijer have a suggestion beyond the boycott. They propose that “whenever the ACS or Komen Foundation ask for a donation, send them your bra, instead! This will give them the message, and help you prevent breast cancer at the same time.”

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