Increase the Incidence of
and also Painful, Lumpy Breasts?
by Darrell J. Stoddard
may have overlooked one of the most important cancer discoveries of the last
century. The incidence of breast cancer for women in bra-wearing countries
is 1 in 8 or 9 (based on a projection that all women will live to be 90
years old). Much lower rates of breast cancer have been reported in
non bra-wearing cultures.
Breast Cancer will strike an estimated 178,000 U.S. women this year, killing
about 43,500. If we knew all of the causes of breast cancer, we would
know more about preventing this terrible disease.
Medical anthropologists, Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer, in a study
involving 4,700 U.S. women found that women who wear a bra 24 hours a day
had a cancer rate that was 125 times higher than women who don't wear a bra
How long a woman wears a bra each day also makes a major difference.
"Women who wore bras for over 12 hours daily, but not to sleep, have a 21-fold
greater chance of developing breast cancer than do women who remove their
bras before twelve hours."
The theory of why bra-wearing may increase the incidence of breast cancer
is the concept that a bra impairs the flow of lymphatics. The blocked
lymphatic vessels allow wastes and toxins to accumulate creating a toxic
condition and cellular damage leading to the development of cancer.
Even if the exact mechanism is not known, the correlation between wearing
a bra and breast cancer is 4 to 12 times greater in significance than the
connection between smoking and lung cancer. Reasons you may have
never heard of this discovery are: No one has anything to sell or
will profit from women not wearing bras. It costs nothing to implement.
The discovery could upstage cancer research that is costing billions.
Experts who work for cancer causes are reluctant to accept such a simple
solution. The monumental medical discoveries of William Harvey,
James Lind and Ignaz Semmelweis were rejected for decades and even for
In our day, traditional medicine rejected the discoveries of Oliver Sachs
(Awakenings), Augusto and Michaela Odone (Lorenzo's Oil), and Gary and Victoria
Beck (Parents of Autistic Child, featured on Dateline Oct. 7, 1998).
The harmful effects of X-rays, discovered in 1895, were hardly known 50
years later. In the 1940's there were X- ray machines for fitting shoes
in nearly all department stores. The harmful effects of X-rays are
still not fully realized 100 years later! (Search www under "John W.
Gofman, M.D., Ph.D." then see his vital and timely book Preventing Breast
Cancer, which is complete on the web.)
It took the FDA more than 30 years to even acknowledge that a folic acid
deficiency could cause birth defects. Thousands of deformed babies have been
born because the FDA prohibited claims that pregnant women should take folic
acid." Now it is widely publicized.
Not only is the implementation of the Singer, Grismaijer study available
to all women free of charge, but the research cost zero, zilch, nada, not
one cent of your tax or donated dollars. No one paid them to do the
research. The only monetary rewards Singer and Grismaijer will ever
get is a royalty on their book, Dressed
To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, a book I highly recommend.
It is infinitely more important to prevent breast cancer than try to cure
it. Thanks to Singer and Grismaijer, we know what could be the most
important step women can take to prevent breast cancer.
In the news there have been stories of high risk women who did not have
cancer that had double radical mastectomies (removal of both breasts) to
prevent breast cancer! "Not wearing a bra to prevent breast cancer"
seems too simple, so it is hardly mentioned by the media and not even considered
by many cancer experts.
In contrast, the media has been full of news releases from the National
Cancer Institute about how Tamoxifen (which has dangerous side effects)
can reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to one-half in certain women.
This compared to reducing risk 21 times by wearing a bra less than 12 hours
a day, or reducing the risk much more than 21 times by not wearing a bra at all!
Tamoxifen doubles the risk of uterine cancer, triples the risk of potentially
fatal blood clots, and increases the risk of developing cataracts in the
eyes according to a report by the Food and Drug Administration. Nevertheless,
the F.D.A. has approved the use of Tamoxifen by high risk, healthy women
to prevent breast cancer.
Going without a bra to prevent breast cancer will not be popular with all
women but should a woman have her breasts removed or take tamoxifen instead?
Tamoxifen sales are 255 million dollars a year. It is predicted
that with the expanded market to prevent breast cancer in healthy women,
tamoxifen sales could balloon to seven billion dollars a year in the U.S.
alone! It costs nothing to stop wearing a bra.
In response to the bra study, Good Housekeeping magazine (which often
has 3 full page color ads for tamoxifen) stated that, "Bras Don't Cause Breast
Cancer" then adds, "most cancer specialists say the idea is so ludicrous
it isn't even worth commenting on. The theory that constriction from
bras allows toxins to build up in the breasts' lymphatic system, which leads
to cancer....is unfounded." "Even when a bra fits snugly, it doesn't
interfere with the lymphatic drainage of the breast," explains breast cancer
expert Gordon F. Schwartz, M.D..
In contrast, there are many published studies to refute the claim that
wearing a bra does not interfere
with lymphatic drainage of the breast. Michael Schacter, M.D. writes
schacter/breast.d.htm "Any activity which will help to remove accumulated
toxins in the breasts will help to reduce the chances of developing breast
cancer." "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." "(Lymph flow) is very sensitive
to constricting external pressure which can impede its flow. Bras and
other external tight clothing can impede flow." "So, the take home message
to women is to wear bras as little as possible and when wearing them try
to choose one that is least constricting."
Dr. Jesse Hanley, M.D. (in her book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Premenopause, Warner Books, 1999) encourages her patients
"not to wear underwire bras or even tight bras, except for special occasions
because they block the lymph glands underneath the breast. Lymph glands
play an important role in draining toxins from the breast."
Another media story about the bra study said it was "ripped to pieces"
by cancer experts because the study didn't factor in risk factors such as
smoking, alcohol use, etc.
Scientific scepticism is wonderful but such criticism is groundless when
there is no conceivable reason why women in the U.S. who don't wear bras
would be non-smokers or non-drinkers and bra wearers would be smokers or alcohol
users. Reminds me of the endless defense by cigarette companies that
cigarettes do not cause cancer.
The smoking/cancer connection was the most important cancer discovery of
the last century but it took more than forty years to be widely accepted.
Nearly every magazine and newspaper published in the 1950's (except Reader's
Digest) had full page ads stating that "More Doctors Smoke Camels than any
other brand." Until this decade, lawsuits against cigarette companies
never made it to trial.
R.I. Reed, Ph.D., has compiled an excellent bibliography of published studies
that present evidence for a possible bra-wearing breast cancer connection.
http://www.all-natural.com/bras.html - http://www.arcos.org/mtardif/bcrefs.htm
- and http://www.all-natural.com/fibrocys.html
Dr. Reed also has found 30 references linking fibrocystic breast disease
(benign lumps, cysts and pain) to increased cancer incidence. He states,
"Many women, and unfortunately many doctors, think that fibrocystic breast
disease is a "normal" condition for women; some even say that it is not a
There are doctors, however, who believe fibrocystic breasts are diseased.
Dr. Richard Santen, M.D., says at: http//www.ivanhoe.com/docs/backissues/benignbreast
clinicqa.html "If a (breast) duct becomes blocked it will fill up
with fluid and it is very much like a balloon filled with water. It
is a round area filled with fluid that represents a blocked duct. That's
the cystic component of fibrocystic disease. The area around that blocked
duct then has the tendency to form scar tissue and that's the fibrous component
of the fibrocystic disease." "Benign breast disease ....let's consider
this as a medical problem and focus on trying to treat the patient rather
than saying it's not cancer, let's forget about it."
A six year study of 1,374 women with palpable breast cysts was published
in Lancet, May 1999. Sixty-five cancers developed which was significantly
more then would have occurred in an equal number of women who did not have
fibrocystic breasts. The study concluded that for all cyst types, "Women
with breast cysts are at an increased risk of breast cancer, especially at
younger ages." The relative risk was 5.94 times more for women under
45 years of age.
To this date, very few doctors and no public information on breast disease
list benign lumpy breasts as a risk factor for breast cancer. One of
the reasons for not recognizing the risk is because a remedy is not generally
known. The bra study and recent research hopefully will change that.
Many women sent Dr. Reed their personal stories telling of dramatic relief
from monthly breast pain and/or lumps achieved by not wearing a bra.
See seven of their histories at:
Singer and Grismaijer, and also Dr. Gregory Heigh of Florida have found
that about 90% of women with fibro-cystic disease find improvement by not
wearing a bra.
If going bra free will prevent lumpy, painful breasts and if such fibrocystic
disease increases the risk of breast cancer, then going without a bra may
prevent some (and possibly much) breast cancer.
Women who find a lump in their breast may delay medical care and try to
eliminate the lump by not wearing a bra. It is imperative not to so
endanger your life! This paper is about preventing breast cancer,
not treating it. Going bra free may reduce a benign cyst. It
will probably do nothing for an existing malignant tumor.
Note: Women may believe that bra-wearing will prevent the development
of "sagging breasts." With or without a bra, sagging is an inevitable
part of aging. There are many studies, however, to show that ligaments
(also muscle and bone) will atrophy if they do not move or bear weight.
Because the breast is supported by ligaments, wearing a bra may actually
cause breast sagging.
Darrell Stoddard, Founder - Pain
266 East 3200 North, Provo, UT 84604 U.S.A.
Email: [email protected]
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