Bras Don’t Cause Breast Cancer

wear-bra-no-cancerby ALLISON GOODLIN

If you want to reduce your breast cancer risk there is much you can do, but don’t stop wearing that bra. The common myth that bras cause breast cancer has been debunked according to a new study. Skipping your bra won’t reduce your cancer risk, but it is almost a certain guarantee that you’ll soon have sagging breasts.

What’s the Link between Bras and Breast Cancer?

The reasoning behind the bra and breast cancer link all comes down to lymphatic fluids. This fluid circulates throughout the body. Some believe that constricting the movement of lymphatic fluid (by wearing a bra for example) makes it more difficult for the body to filter and remove toxins leading to an increased breast cancer risk.

The study’s authors wanted to dig into this myth and discover the truth. Is there really a link between bras and breast cancer?

The study compared 469 healthy post-menopausal women with more than 1,000 women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Bra-wearing habits were a primary point of comparison, everything from cup size, underwire preference, amount of time bras were worn each day, etc. The researchers found that no aspect of bra-wearing was conclusively linked to breast cancer.

quot-bra-cancerWhat does this mean for you? Quite simply the study should remove the fear behind wearing a bra. You can safely support your breasts without worrying that you’re also increasing your cancer risk. Many women wear bras and they don’t need to feel like they are putting their bodies in jeopardy to keep their breasts looking their best.

Dr. Mary Gingrass, a respected plastic surgeon from Nashville, finds the news exciting. She explains, “As a plastic surgeon my goal is to help men and women look their best. When women skip the bra, sagging quickly follows. Take care of your breasts and wear a bra. Pregnancy, breast feeding, and life will give your breasts plenty of reasons to sag over the years; don’t speed the process by skipping your bra.”

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk?

If you’ve been avoiding bras for fear of breast cancer, research suggests that you can safely stop, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a few other lifestyle changes to reduce your breast cancer risk. Here are a few easy options you can try:

Eat Your Veggies – A healthy diet packed with fruits and vegetables is a great way to reduce your risk for many types of cancer, including breast cancer. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale are cancer fighting powerhouses.

mammogram-7204-1c7f0Hit the Gym – Exercise helps you to reduce your breast cancer risk in a couple of different ways. Research suggests that frequent exercise cuts breast cancer risk on its own. Exercise also fights obesity, a factor that can increase your risk of getting breast cancer.

Don’t Forget Your Mammograms! Breast cancer is highly treatable if caught early and getting regular mammograms is an excellent way to catch cancer while it is still small. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you’re due for a mammogram and get one right away if you need one.

Are you wearing your bra? If you’ve been avoiding bras or underwires to reduce your breast cancer risk a new study suggests you can safely give your breasts the support they need. Bras don’t cause breast cancer.

6 Discussion to this post

  1. Laurie Thomas says:

    The fact of the matter is they do not know what causes Breast Cancer. As a bra fitter for the last 22 years and also a breast cancer survivor I feel each women needs to make up her own mind as to what is best for her. When I have a customer come in I always ask her what type of bra she is most comfortable wearing. When you deal with women with large breasts like I do you soon realize that not wearing a bra is not about “perky” breasts but about holding up this tissue all day that can be extremely uncomfortable. I challenge any man to put two one gallon milk containers around their neck and carry them around all day supported by the neck and shoulders and then we can talk. This also holds true for small busted women who have no clue as to this condition. Women who have G,H,J,K,L,M,and N cups need a bra. These are not implants people. These are home grown Breasts and women suffer with them everyday. I have my own opinion about giving your lymphatic system a break sometime during the day since I’ve had my own issue with breast cancer. I agree with the one writer that a bra needs to be properly fitted because ill fitted bras can cause damage to breast tissue and, I believe, irritation which is not good for your breasts. What causes Breast Cancer?
    The answer will be in what causes cancer period. Good luck to Doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong. He is my hero at the moment.

  2. Allison Goodlin says:

    In all things there will be differing sides of opinion. The particular study referenced in the article does show that the link between bras and breast cancer does not exist. That doesn’t mean that other studies won’t come to their own findings. I think the real solution here is finding ways for both sides to work together to educate, empower, and help women. Opening a dialogue rather than spewing hateful comments is the best way for both sides of this debate to find common ground and real solutions for keeping women healthy and beautiful.

  3. Sydney Ross Singer says:

    I am a breast cancer researcher and co-author of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. I realize this is a lingerie site, but promoting bras by giving women false information is just plain wrong. Actually, a 15 year French study by Prof. Roullion showed that bras cause breasts to droop, and that women who stopped wearing bras experienced increased breast tone and lift, and were able to breathe better and perform athletics better. There are also several studies that show wearing tight bras each day is the leading cause of breast cancer. In fact, bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men, while 24/7 bra wearers have over 100 times the incidence as bra-free women. Even some lingerie companies are offering women less constrictive bras to try mitigating the constriction problem and reduce the harm caused by bra wearing. Unfortunately, the lingerie industry is on the whole worried about class action lawsuits because of the harm they are causing women, and this has led to industry resistance to the issue. Meanwhile the profitable breast cancer treatment industry, which has partnered with the lingerie industry, is suppressing information about this way to prevent breast cancer, since it does not involve drugs or surgery. Unfortunately, many women have become brainwashed from childhood into believing they need artificially shaped breasts to be acceptable in public. This is why breast cancer is a culture-caused disease. It will not end until the bra habit ends. I find it reprehensible how some people, like this article’s author, can promote harmful bras and be part of this profit-motivated conspiracy against women. Instead of encouraging further research into the bra-cancer link they misinform women about this issue and encourage women to continue wearing bras. I suppose there has always been, and will always be, such malevolent people.

    • Ellen Lewis says:

      Hello Sydney,
      I am not certain where you are obtaining your facts on this issue, and I will certainly have the author of this article who is affiliated with breast surgeons, answer. However, I urge you to read the article posted here on 4/13/2013 by Elisabeth Dale, author of
      The article, “French Bra Study”, to see that there is not a lot of scientific evidence to your point
      Personally, as a large breasted woman who has had to wear a bra from the age of 12, I think your advice is a bit misinformed. Without the support of a well constructed bra, I would experience back and neck pain as well as broken ligaments. Perhaps the problem is not with wearing bras and more so with the issue of how well the bra fits.

  4. Allison Goodlin says:

    As with any area of science or medicine there are going to be differing views on the root causes behind different diseases, like breast cancer. Only continued research and study will discover the best ways to treat and prevent this devastating disease although we have come a long way over the past several decades. Currently top medical groups and organizations like the Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society support mammography as an effective tool for early detection of breast cancer. Of course these guidelines may change as new studies and information become available. The best advice I can give to all women is to do your research, consult a trusted medical professional, and live as healthy of a lifestyle possible to reduce your risk for breast and other cancers.

  5. Tony says:

    Goodlin fails to inform women that the bra study was of poor methodology and so its conclusion is scientifically irrelevant. Most crucial is the fact that the cancer industry has long denied the known carcinogenic dangers of all types of toxicants, including from mammogram, claiming it’s a negligible risk when it has been shown by a myriad of studies to cause, and to be a major cause of, breast cancer (see The Mammogram Myth by Rolf Hefti).
    Women need to know that the medical industry is a business, a huge one, that negates, eradicates, or hides anything that threatens their massive profits. It’s business propaganda, Goodlin is a participant in the promotions of the disinformation.

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