If you are a woman of a certain age, you probably remember that we were encouraged to take off their bras and burn them. The height of the feminist movement was upon us, and ‘bra burning’ was a symbolic declaration of our independence and power. Today, there’s a different reason to ditch the bra, and it has everything to do with breast cancer prevention, and breast health.
At ThermAppoach, we believe in healthy breasts. Let’s explore the question: ‘Could there be a link to bras and breast cancer’?
There’s been a tremendous amount of debate over the subject of bras in the past several years. Some say that a bra helps support your breasts, and protects sensitive breast tissue. Others argue that bras increase your risk of developing cysts and/or breast cancer. Which may leave you wondering, are they unhealthy? Bras, that is.
In 1991, Harvard University conducted a study in relationship to breast size and cancer risk. The study was published in the European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology. The study discovered that pre-menopausal women who didn’t wear a bra had half the risk of breast cancer when compared to bra users.
Following this report, Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer conducted their own research. In 1995, they published their book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. In the book, the authors followed the research conducted by Harvard. Their own research was conducted between 1991 and 1993, and included 5,000 women. Their study concluded that breast cancer risk dramatically increased in women who wore their bras over 12 hours a day. Their other findings include:
· Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
· Women who wore their bras for more than 12 hours, but not to bed, had a 1 in 7 chance of developing breast cancer.
· Wearing bras less than 12 hours per day dramatically dropped the risk to 1 in 152.
· Women who never, or rarely, wore bras had a 1 in 168 chance for breast cancer.
· Overall, women who wore their bras 24 hours per day, increased their risk by 125 times over women who rarely, or never, wore a bra.
Here’s some thoughts as to why breast cancer increases with extended hours of bra usage. In his article, Integrative Medicine: The Prevention and Complementary Treatment of Breast Cancer, Michael B. Schachter, MD points out:
“It is the job of the lymphatic system of the body to help drain toxic substances from tissues and poor lymphatic drainage may play a role in breast cancer formation… Over 85 percent of the lymph fluid flower from the breast drain to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow. The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals aren’t trapped in the breast.”
What does all of this mean in layman’s terms? Your lymphatic system doesn’t work on its own. When the body is in motion, through exercise, dancing or even a brisk walk is when it gets fired up and can work. Therefore, when your breasts are encompassed by a form-fitting bra, they are not free to move in sync with the rest of your body. Therefore, the lymph nodes around them are not able to move the toxins out. You can notice this type of restriction with red creases and grooves along your bra line.
At ThermApproach, we asked this question: Why aren’t you hearing about this from the American Cancer Society or the Komen Foundation? Why – if they are so eager to raise funds to find a cure for breast cancer – do they seem opposed to preventing this disease, and address the bra-cancer link? Could it be, because lingerie companies donate to their charities?
Another concern is what about the connection between breast restriction and the increase in temperature around them? They are an external organ that is meant to hang out and somewhat away from the torso. This natural position maintains a naturally lower temperature than the rest of the body. Since certain cancers are temperature-sensitive, temperature changes in the breast can alert hormone function and raise the risk of breast cancer. Breast cancer is hormone dependent. For quite some time we’ve known that men who regularly wear tight-fitting pants and/or underwear can disturb testosterone production and even their fertility by altering the temperature in their testicles. With that being the case, it also makes sense that the area around your breasts can heat up with restriction.
Of course, we understand that in today’s society, going bra-less all of the time may not be appropriate for you. How and when you wear your bra should be your own personal decision, based on your lifestyle. At ThermApproach, we aren’t anti-bra, we are pro-breasts. We believe that knowledge is power when you apply that knowledge to your health.
At ThermAppoach, we utilize sophisticated infrared technology and innovative computer software to capture the images in the form of an infrared thermogram, or heat picture. All reports are interpreted by medical doctors that are Board Certified in Thermology.
Before you can feel it, thermal imaging can see it. Please call our office to schedule your screening today.