- Women's Health
Bras and ( Horror of Horrors) Breast Cancer
To Wear or Not To Wear That is the Question
So I haven't worn a bra in like 9 years of so. Of course when I go out and I'm wearing dress clothes I do put on a bra, but for the most part I don't wear one. I hate them, they are hot and uncomfortable. But.... I wondered if I was doing my breasts a favor or hurting them. So I decided to do a bit of research on the subject and much to my surprise there are lots of articles on the subject. I am high risk for breast cancer mainly because I had my children after the age of 30. This is a huge risk along with family members with breast cancer. Child bearing after the age of 30 is my only risk as there is no breast cancer in my family. My mammograms were showing abnormalities and so the doctors wanted to do a biopsy on my breast. They found Atypical Hyperplasia. Atypical Hyperplasia is precancerous cells in the breast. They sent me to a oncologist. He put me on Tamoxifen for 5 years. Tamoxifen is a anti- estrogen. The oncologist explained to me that cancer and estrogen is like grass to fertilizer. I asked him if me not wearing a bra increased my risk of getting breast cancer and he said no. 6 months later I developed DCIS. Ductal carcinoma in situ which is considered the earliest form of breast cancer. In DCIS abnormal cells multiply and form a growth in your milk ducts. DCIS is non invasive meaning it hasn't spread to other parts of the breast. They did a lumpectomy type biopsy and for the last 2 years in my doctor's words " My mammogram was better than good it is perfect". Music to my ears. Again I asked my doctor if my not wearing a bra was hurting me and he said no. Heaven I'm in heaven.
What Some People Say
The first study on bras and breast cancer was conducted by medical anthropologists and husband and wife Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer. The American Cancer Society states that this study was not conducted according to standard principals of epidemiological research and did not take into consideration other variables, including known risk factors for breast cancer. The American Cancer Society goes on to say that they know of only one scientifically conducted epidemiological study that investigated a possible link between bra use and breast cancer. The study found that breast cancer might be less common in non bra wearers. Going back to the first unofficial study, Singer and Grismaijer studied 4,500 women in 5 cities across the United States about their bra wearing habits. This is what they found. 3 out of 4 women who wore their bras 24 hours a day developed cancer. Women who wore their bras more than 12 hours a day but did not wear them to bed had a 1 out of 7 chance of developing breast cancer. 1 out of 152 women who wore bras less than 12 hours a day developed breast cancer. 1 out of 168 women who wore bras rarely or never developed breast cancer. I know this study is unofficial but none the less the results are compelling. In 1991 Hsieh and Trichopoulos did a study on breast size and right/left handedness as the risk factors, and noted in their findings that premenopausal women who didn't wear bras had less than half the risk of women who wear bras of developing breast cancer. In 1991 Researchers at Harvard University published an article on breast cancer risk. Part of the article states that the women in their study that did not wear bras had a 60% lower rate of breast cancer than did the women who wore bras. Some pretty interesting results.
What I Say
So the question is do we or don't we. Well I pretty much think wearing or not wearing bras is a personal choice. I made my choice at least 9 years ago. If i wear a bra and when I take it off my breasts don't sag maybe just maybe I would go back to wearing them. Sadly this isn't the case. Some experts say that wearing bras has made our breast muscles weak and there is no chance of them not sagging. Another sad but true fact. We all sag. I personally love the free feeling and will never go back to wearing a bra. So I have only one more thing to say on the subject: LADIES BURN THOSE BRAS!!!