Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras


Bra-freedom is busting out all over! Women everywhere are discovering that wearing bras can make their breasts droopy and stretched out, but also cause cysts, pain, and cancer.

For some women, enough said. The bra goes. It was always so uncomfortable, it was the first thing they took off after work anyway. More women are becoming bra-free in the name of comfort and health.

For other women, no way! The bra stays no matter what. And the cancer detection and treatment industry loves these women. They want women to wear bras. With one million bras sold each day in the US alone, that’s a lot of women binding and constricting the health out of their breasts in the name of fashion.

Nothing new there.

Corsets bound women for centuries, to the point of disease and death. Constriction is not a good thing for circulation. Nevertheless, this fashion of body shaping went on for centuries, despite its toll on women’s health.

Bras are really breast corsets. They shape the breasts, and this requires harmful pressure and compression of the delicate breast tissue.

Harmful fashions are not new. In fact, foot binding in China deformed feet to the point that toes would rot away. It was considered erotic to unwrap a bound foot, clean it, and re-wrap it. This lasted for a thousand years, despite its toll on women. It seems that harmful fashions are not ended simply because they are harmful. It’s not necessarily that the fashion designers of the time have it against women, it’s just that the health impacts of such fashions are never considered.

The Campaign of Misinformation

Almost twenty years ago, my partner Soma Grismaijer and I announced the results of our 1991-93 Bra and Breast Cancer study in our book, Dressed To Kill.

Bras, we discovered, are the leading cause of breast cancer. Like corsets, they constrict and interfere with circulation. Lymph fluid cannot easily drain from a bra-constricted breast. This stagnant lymph fluid cannot be adequately flushed away, concentrating waste products and toxins in the slowly toxifying breasts. Backed-up fluid results in cysts and pain. Ultimately, this can lead to cancer.

Essentially, a bra-free woman has about the same incidence of breast cancer as a man. The tighter and longer a bra is worn, the higher the incidence of breast cancer. 24/7 bra wearers have over 100 times the incidence as a bra-free woman. These findings have been recently confirmed by studies in China and Venezuela. A 1991 Harvard study also found a significant bra/cancer link.

However, to the cancer detection and treatment industry, this is called “nonsense”. To the industry that makes billions of dollars each year giving mammograms, mastectomies, radiation and chemotherapies, and then protheses and bras so these women can look “normal”, the concept of bras contributing to breast cancer is “absurd”.

In fact, the American Cancer Society’s spokesman, Dan Gansler, stated for the New York Times, “Because the idea of bras’ causing breast cancer is so scientifically implausible, it seems unlikely that researchers will ever spend their time and resources to test it in a real epidemiological study,” he told the Times for a Q&A piece.

The article explains that:

“He (Gansler) and colleagues compared National Cancer Institute data on breast cancer risk for women treated for melanoma who had several underarm lymph nodes removed and those who did not. The surgery, which is known to block lymph drainage from breast tissue, did not detectably increase breast cancer rates, the study found, meaning that it is extremely unlikely that wearing a bra, which affects lymph flow minimally if at all, would do so.”

When I saw this, I did some research.

The “study” is really a letter in the Breast Journal, run by the American Cancer Society: Axillary Lymphatic Disruption does not Increase Risk of Breast Carcinoma, in The Breast Journal, Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 438–439, July/August 2009. As a letter, the information was not peer reviewed. Not all the data was shown. It was an editorial, not a scientific report.

Interestingly, their report did show a significant increase in skin cancers resulting from lymph node removal! This supports the hypothesis, which they wanted to disprove, that lymphatic blockage could cause cancer. (BTW, this has been known to be the case since the 1930′s)

Instead of admitting an increase in cancers, they focused only on the breast cancer results. It found that there was not a significant increase in breast cancers. However, it mentions that there was not enough data for this conclusion to be statistically valid. In other words, there was not enough data to tell the impact on breast cancer.

Of course, their “study” was designed to disprove the bra/cancer connection. Gansler did what no scientist should do. He had a bias and went out to prove a point, results be damned. The increased skin cancer results did not support his plan, so he ignored the data. The breast cancer data was too small a sample to make a conclusion, but they made one anyway.

Not surprisingly, it was the same conclusion that they started out with!

Unfortunately, this “information” is supported from the American Cancer Society, the pre-eminent cancer information source. They should not be able to lie and get away with it. However, the media is paid to report what they are told by the ACS, not to question it. The media spreads this misinformation because it is paid to. The payers are the cancer detection and treatment industry, as well as the lingerie industry, which also funds breast cancer research.

The last thing the lingerie industry wants is a class action lawsuit. Their goal is to make sure there is no further research into the bra/cancer link. Without a long list of studies, the issue can be called a “myth” and no lawsuits can succeed – they hope.

Aiding their suppression of the issue is the cancer industry, which is not interested in rocking a boat that now nets them billions each year detecting and treating this disease.

Pink champagne anyone? Let’s celebrate raising more money for research into cancer cell lines, genetics, new treatment drugs, new radiation procedures, new diagnostic tests… anything but the link between breast cancer and bras.

Health.com article is at the forefront of keeping the bra/cancer link ignored and suppressed. Quoted by national news networks and used as an October 2013 breast cancer informercial, this article not only calls the bra/cancer link a myth but also says breast cancer is not preventable.

Called 25 Breast Cancer Myths Busted, this malignant article claims:

Myth: Breast cancer is preventable.

Reality: Alas, no. Although it is possible to identify risk factors (such as family history and inherited gene mutations) and make lifestyle changes that can lower your risk (reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, losing weight, getting regular exercise and screenings, and quitting smoking), roughly 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factors, meaning that the disease occurs largely by chance and according to as-yet-unexplained factors.

Okay, even if you don’t get the bra/cancer link, it’s easy to see the bias in this statement. If these factors are as-yet-unexplained, then how do you know it will not make prevention possible once these factors are discovered?

As for the 70% of cases that are “unexplained”, the reason for this is because they are ignoring the bra. They have looked at every lifestyle factor they could think of, but have deliberately ignored the bra, which already has a scientifically proven history of causing breast problems.

But this reasoning has no impact on the cancer industry and its pink campaign. They don’t want to know the factors that cause this disease if it cannot be sold in patented pill or bottle form.

Consensus? Widely debunked as unscientific? No reason or evidence is provided. So I put together a few things for the interested reader. The rest is up to you.

Studies that Support the Bra/Cancer Link:

  1. 1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991). Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.). This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users…
  2. 1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and Grismaijer, published in Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguin Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005). Found that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times that of a bra-free woman.
  3. Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji, published in Get It Off! (ISCD Press, 2000). Found 24 case histories of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and diet and living in the same village, the ones getting breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work purposes.
  4. A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP, Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM (2009). [Risk factors of breast cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures]. In Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009 Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk 60%.
  5. 2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that bras are causing breast disease and cancer. http://www.portalesmedicos.com/publicaciones/articles/3691/1/Patologias-mamarias-generadas-por-el-uso-sostenido-y-seleccion-incorrecta-del-brassier-en-pacientes-que-acuden-a-la-consulta-de-mastologia- It found that underwired and push-up bras are the most harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or indentations may cause disease.

Source: “Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras,” by Sydney Ross Singer from wakeup-world.com

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