There are no scientifically valid studies that show a correlation between wearing bras of any type and the occurrence of breast cancer. Two anthropologists made this association in a book called Dressed to Kill. Their study was not conducted according to standard principles of epidemiological research and did not take into consideration other variables, including known risk factors for breast cancer. There is no other, credible research to validate this claim in any way.
Even the site you linked to states that the study discussed did not control for other risk factors. At this time, I'm not convinced there's a link. It seems as if genetics, diet, and history and timing of pregnancy and breastfeeding play a major role in breast cancer, not the wearing or not wearing of bras.
The association with breast cancer is based on population studies and is not conclusive (since it doesn't control for all the other variables). BUT I really do believe that on the whole bras are not healthy. They restrict the flow of lymphatic fluid and increase the temperature of breast tissue, and whether or not these things can be linked to cancer they are not healthy. Bras can also cause shoulder problems for larger-breasted women, since the straps transfer the weight of the breasts to the shoulders.
It is also very likely the case that the ligaments which support the breasts atrophy with bra-wearing, and so, contrary to popular belief, breasts get perkier rather than saggier in women who go without bras.
I gave up wearing a bra because though I had always had fibrocystic breast lumps, I suddenyl began to get pain under my arms from the lumps (this is with well-fitting, non-underwire bras). It took a while to get used to the sensation of not wearing a bra, and to figure out alternatives (camisoles under light shirts, etc.). But lo and behold, no lumps, no pain, and perkier breasts!
And on the rare occasions when I put on a bra I am now aware of JUST how uncomfortable they are!
So, I think it's worth considering cutting down on the amount you wear a bra, and trying to wear the least constraining alternative possible - like, if you're comfortable in tank tops that have a shelf-bra, that's often a good compromise.
Bras can also cause shoulder problems for larger-breasted women, since the straps transfer the weight of the breasts to the shoulders.
The alternative to not wearing a bra for large breasted women is back pain & slouching from the weight though. If the woman has a PROPER fitting bra it does not transfer the weight to the shoulders.
For large breasted women there are no alternatives unless you are one of the few large breasted women who doesn't mind that they hang down. Shelf bra's don't cover even half of my breasts, most of the breast is hanging out the bottom.
Hmm. I wear a bra constantly, even to bed, as I hate the way it feels when I don't. I like to feel confined, lol. They still move though, and I do chest exercises every day. There is plenty of blood flow going on, IMO.
I read a different article a while back. It said that not wearing a bra at night caused a significant reduction in breast cancer rates over wearing one 24 hours a day. It said the difference between wearing one during the day vs not wearing one at all wasn't much.
It explained that the bra, particularly if it doesn't fit properly, can constrict the pathways via which the lymph fluid flows, and prevent the lymph system from properly cleansing that area of the body. This made logical sense to me, since there are many problems that occur when lymph fluid can't properly circulate, but modern medicine doesn't pay much attention to them.
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