Ahhh October. The time when leaves turn colors; stores are stocked with apples and pumpkins; and of course children plotting which routes yield the most candy. Another aspect we enjoy about October is the emphasis on raising awareness for breast cancer. From the pink ribbons, pink pizza boxes, and even the pink cleats and gloves in the NFL-it seems like for one month everyone shares a common goal of elevating awareness towards breast cancer. Yet, with all of that being said doesn’t it seem a little odd that after billions of dollars in donations towards cancer research, free mamagram testing, walks, runs, etc. that we may have ignored one of the most obvious antagonist of breast cancer…bras!

What’s Wrong With Bras?

Full coverage, push up, training, maternity, A, B, C, D…ugh there are so many types of bras (and cup sizes) that choosing one can feel overwhelming. Despite this complexity in bra shopping wearing a bra has become the norm. However, what if someone told you that wearing a bra could actually increase your risk of getting breast cancer-would you still wear one? In an article published by Healthy Holistic Living author Paul Fassa wrote that “The connection between wearing bras and painful and bothersome non-malignant breast fibrocystic disease as well as malignant breast cancer was hardly mentioned until the book Dressed to Kill by researchers Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer came out in 1995″. Wait! Since 1995 there has been publication suggesting the cancerous effects bras can have yet bras are constantly purchased without a second thought of them being carcinogenic?

The Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine posted [what seems to be an exert from the book] that “women who have fibrocystic breast disease essentially have lymphedema of the breast. Its cause, we discovered, is the impairment of lymphatic flow by pressure from the bra. Bras are elastic garments that exert constant pressure on the breast tissue. Their purpose is to push the breasts into a more fashionable shape. Yet, this pressure can cut down on flow within the lymphatic system, reducing its ability to remove fluid and toxins from the breast tissue. The toxins that are within the breast tissue include some biochemical products of tissue edema, such as free radicals, which are known to cause cancer. In addition, there are also toxins in our air, food and water, including pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and other products of our petrochemically polluted world. Many of these are known to cause cancer. We deliver these toxins to all our tissues each day through the bloodstream. It is the job of the lymphatics to remove these toxins. And it is this job that the bra inhibits by its compression and constriction of the breasts. This is how bras cause breast cancer. Cancer causing toxins are delivered to the breast tissue by the bloodstream, and are kept there by the bra. The toxins are the bullets. The bra holds them in place, pointed directly at the breasts. This explains why women have more cancer in the breast than elsewhere in their bodies. The breasts are the most clothing constricted of any organ. It also explains why women have more breast cancer than men, and why breast cancer is only a problem in cultures in which bras are worn. Where there are no bras, there is virtually no breast cancer.”

The Price of Maintaining the Norm

Every year we wear pink, donate money, walk, and/or run in support of breast cancer research but let’s speak honestly for a second. The brasseries industry is a billion dollar industry. The medical industry is a billion dollar industry. Millions are raised every year by companies (either for-profit or non-profit) under the emotional banner of “breast cancer awareness”. The point we are trying to make is that there are significant financial gains for multiple parties by maintaining the current status quo suggesting that bras are harmless. For example, think about the resistance Dr. Bennet Omalu faced when exposing CTE in the NFL. Of course the NFL denied such claims because it is bad for the image or the brand. However, after finally accepting the facts, there is a higher emphasis on correct tackling, increased sideline concussion testing, and education to prevent such injuries. However, doesn’t it seem that if we truly wanted to find a solution for breast cancer the effects of bras on the breast would be the first (and obvious) thing to focus on? Shouldn’t more money be spent on educating women on finding the right fitting bra or making bras that allow for more breathability and less constriction or having a greater selection of bras in stores?

Conclusion-breast cancer awareness moving forward.

As comfortable, colorful, and sensual as bras are they may potentially pose a greater danger to the health of women than we think. In areas where bras are not the norm there is little evidence of breast cancer compared to countries that use them on a regular basis. As much as we hate to say this many industries profit hugely off of the current status quo of women relying on the use of brasseries. More research needs to be done to truly conclude whether there is a correlation between bras and breast cancer as there is a increasing niche of individuals that believe that there is a link between bras and cancer. more emphasis needs to be placed on the prevention of breast cancer as opposed to treating it after-the-fact.

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