my Breast Cancer blog

2004, age 34 — this is my story

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Can a Bra Cause Breast Cancer?

bra

Tomás Fano, Flickr

I once had big boobs – really big boobs. So big I had them reduced and lost 4 whole pounds of tissue. Had I not had a breast reduction, my tumor might have been buried deep inside all that stuff, never to be found by me. But I did find the cancerous mass, because it was right on the surface, and so I’m very thankful that my small-ish boobs may have saved my life.

But that’s another story.

This story is about the bras I wore with those big breasts, because they were underwire bras, meant to heave those two things up and place them right in their intended spots, and there’s a doctor out there claiming that this very type of bra can cause breast cancer. Essentially, those contraptions I wore for my big boobs might have caused the cancer I found after they weren’t so big anymore.

Huh?

Sure enough, says medical anthropologist Dr. Sydney Singer, author of the book “Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras.”

Basically we are impairing our circulation of blood flow,” Singer says. And if the flow of both blood and lymph is constricted within the breasts, this will cause the buildup of toxins, which can cause disease. Of course, family history, bad genes, poor diets, obesity and more play a role, but bras — well, they are apparently pretty dangerous all on their own.

Not so fast, says the American Cancer Society — they refute the claim that bras are a risk factor for breast cancer. Although Ken Smith, an American Cancer Society Breast Health Facilitator, does agree that more research is necessary on this topic. Probably won’t happen, though, he says, because many hospitals and breast cancer research centers are supported by undergarment sales profit. Hmmm. Good point. There are more good talking points in this article, which is all about the bra-breast cancer connection. Take a look for yourself, and tell me what you think:

Are bras to blame? Or not?