Banish the Bra?
Special Report: Banish the Bra?
But could a woman's bra actually be dangerous to her health?
"Our research has shown that the bras issue, we believe is the leading cause of breast cancer", said Sydney Ross Singer, who wrote a book about what he believes is a link between breast cancer and bras.
"In fact to look at breast disease and ignore bras is like looking at foot disease and ignoring tight shoes," said Singer.
Singer's center conducted a study involving five thousand American women, half had breast cancer.
They looked at past behavior, including how tight the bras were and how long the women wore them. Here's what they found:
Women who wore a bra for 24 hours a day, had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
If a bra is worn 12 hours a day, there was a 1 in 7 risk.
And women who didn't wear a bra had about the same rate of developing breast cancer as a man.
"So what's happening with the bra is that women are preventing the proper flushing of fluid and toxins out of their breasts," said Singer.
Singer claims a bra is too constricting, interfering with the body's lymphatic system.
This causes toxins to build up, eventually causing cancer.
"If you get rid of the bra, your breasts will finally be able to flush out the fluid," said Singer.
But mainstream medical doctors dismiss the study.
"There's no evidence in any of the world research data that I'm aware of that supports the fact that breast cancer risk is increased by wearing a bra or a bra that's too tight," said Dr. Ermilo Barrera of the American Cancer Society.
Dr. Barrera says women should get mammograms to reduce risk factors and not worry about their bras.
"Watch their weight, exercise, drink only in moderation and don't smoke," said Doctor Hussein.
Doctor Atif Hussein, Medical Director at the Memorial Cancer Institute calls the bra study interesting, but said, "it really is hard to tell you wearing the bra in itself was the contributing factor."
He says it's not the bra, but the risk factors of the women who wear them that is the deciding factor.
"Women who may be overweight tend to wear bras, therefore I would say the factors that contributed to those women wearing the bra contributed to their high risk rather than the bra itself," said Doctor Hussein. He said the issue should be studied more.
But despite criticism from the medical community, Singer is sticking to his mission saying, "there's absolutely nothing good about bras, it's completely a fashion accessory."
He is encouraging women to banish their bras for better health, saying, "We live in a culture where women feel insecure with a natural bust line, but if the price of fashion is disease, then you have to decide whether you want to participate in that or not."
Singer is now studying women who go bra-free to find out if they have lower rates of breast cancer.
Sorboni Banerjee, 7News.
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