By Tess Pennington
Bras are the bane of women’s existence. There, I said it. These stylish undergarments are designed to constrict and dig into the skin in order to push body parts up to make things look more supple and visually pleasing. Of course, if you’re one of the lucky ones who get to wear the underwire support; no doubt you have felt the stabbing of flesh from when the wire pokes into your armpit.
Sure, wearing a bra makes the “old girls” look perkier. And, let’s be honest, we feel a little sexier when strapping ourselves into a top of the line push-up, miracle, bombshell bra that the latest runway supermodel is sporting. But, can I be honest? Do those models look even remotely comfortable with their ta-tas on the verge of bursting out? And, how amazing does it feel when you take these en vogue torture chambers off? Perhaps we aren’t meant to wear such heinous contraptions and the bra industry has sold us a line of bull.
The bra industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry dominated by large multinational corporations that have one goal in life: to sell billions of dollars worth of bras. Do they care that they are squeezing and contorting your body in a way that could cause future health problems?
Scientists took a look at the bras we wear today and have found that the constricting effect of bras could be causing cancer. Specifically, when you wear a tight fitting bra, it suppresses the lymphatic system below the armpits and blocks an internal network of vessels supposed to flush toxic wastes from the body. Over time, these toxins accumulate in the breast tissues and create an environment in which cells can turn cancerous. Moreover, aluminum compounds, parabens, propylene glycol, triclosan and steareths are examples of potentially dangerous toxins found in many common deodorants that can accumulate if your lymph drainage is impaired.
Years ago, a U.S. study performed by scientists Sidney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer surveyed 4,700 women and concluded that the odds of getting breast cancer increased dramatically the longer women wore bras. Specifically, women who reported wearing bras for more than twelve hours each day.
The Susan G. Komen association states that scientific evidence says otherwise. In a statement on their website, they claim:
Scientific evidence does not support a link between wearing an underwire bra (or any type of bra) and breast cancer risk . There is no biological reason the two would be linked. Any observed relationship is likely due to other factors.
A 1991 case-control study found that women who did not wear bras had a lower risk of breast cancer than women who did wear bras . However, the authors stated this link was likely due to factors related to wearing a bra rather than the bra itself. The women in the study who did not wear a bra were more likely to be thin, which the authors concluded might account for their decreased risk of breast cancer .
In an article by Dr. Mercola on the subject, he suggests you can avoid some of the improper drainage issues if you wear a bra that is properly fitted. Many, many women simply wear bras that do not fit. The website Linda’s Bra School offers plenty of guidance on proper bra fitting and can help you find a more appropriate bra style.