The Truth Will Set You Free .....
If you didn't burn yours in the 'Sixties, you might want to put it away now. "Bras cause breast cancer. It's open and shut," says medical researcher Syd Singer.
The Singers became breast cancer sleuths in 1991. On the day Soma discovered a lump in her breast, the husband-wife team was studying the effects of Western medicine on Fijians. In the shower, Syd noticed that Soma's shoulders and breasts were outlined by dark red grooves. He remembered a puzzled Fijian woman asking his wife about her brassiere:
"Doesn't it feel tight?"
"You get used to it," Soma had replied.
Could bras be constricting breast tissue, Syd wondered, hampering lymph drainage and causing degeneration?
Soma decided to stop wearing hers. But when Syd searched the medical literature he found no known causes of breast cancer, which rarely appears before a woman's mid-thirties, most often after 40. The highest death rates from breast cancer are in North America and northern Europe, with the developing world catching up fast.
The World Health Organization calls chemical toxins the primary cause of cancer. But poisons accumulating in breast tissue are normally flushed by clear lymph fluid into large clusters of lymph nodes nestling in the armpits and upper chest. The Singers found that "because lymphatic vessels are very thin, they are extremely sensitive to pressure and are easily compressed." Chronic minimal pressure on the breasts can cause lymph valves and vessels to close.
"Less oxygen and fewer nutrients are delivered to the cells, while waste products are not flushed away," the Singers noted. After 15 or 20 years of bra-constricted lymph drainage, cancer can result.
Looking at other cultures, Soma and Syd were struck by the low incidence of breast cancer in poorer nations awash in pesticides dumped by northern nations. They didn't find peasant women wearing push-up bras. Instead, they discovered that the Maoris of New Zealand integrated into white culture have the same rate of breast cancer, while Australia's marginalized aboriginals have virtually no breast cancer. The same trend held for "Westernized" Japanese, Fijians and other bra-converted cultures.
In Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, the researchers also observed that just before a woman begins her period, estrogen floods her system, causing her breasts to swell. If she continues wearing the same bra size, life-saving lymphatics will be even more tightly squished. Had they found the "estrogen link" to breast cancer?
Childless women never fully develop their breast-cleansing lymphatic system. Nor do women who have never breast-fed. Working women who wear bras everyday and postpone having children could be at higher risk, the Singers warn.
Even worse, a young woman's coming of age is often "marked" by her first bra. Like the ancient Chinese practice of foot-binding, "breast-binding" at puberty can eventually lead to severe medical complications.
Could bras be the "missing link" in a growing epidemic of breast cancer? Beginning in May, 1991, Soma and Syd Singer's 30-month "Bra and Breast Cancer" study interviewed some 4,000 women in five major US cities. All were Caucasian of mostly "medium income" ranging in age from 30 to 79. Half had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Almost all of the women interviewed were unhappy with the size or shape of their breasts. Women who chose a bra for appearance, ignoring soreness and swelling, had twice the rate of breast cancer of those who did not.
But the most startling statistic was that three out of four women who wore their daytime bras to sleep contracted breast cancer. So did one out seven women strapped into a bra more than 12 hours a day. Bra-free women have just a one in 168 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, says Singer. The same as bra-free men.
"Don't sleep in your bra!" Syd Singer pleads. "Women who want to avoid breast cancer should wear a bra for the shortest period of time possible -- certainly for less than 12 hours daily."
Syd also submits that some 80% of bra-wearers who experience lumps, cysts and tenderness will see those symptoms vanish, "within a month of getting rid of the bra."
Not everyone is ready to hang up her halter. As one woman told the team, "My tits will sag all the way to my navel without a bra." But Surgeon Christine Haycock at the New Jersey College of Medicine says that inherited traits -- not ligaments or breast size -- are the reason some breasts give in to gravity. Bouncing bosoms help clear the lymphatics.
Well aware that their findings were "explosive," the Singers sent their survey results to the heads of America's most prestigious cancer organizations and institutes. None responded. Like the cancer business, the bra business is huge. Multiply how many worldwide women buy several $25 bras every year and you end up with a multiple of the $6 billion-a-year US bra business.
Syd Singer says that establishment censorship of the bra-breast cancer connection is killing women. Pointing to the biggest commonality among breast cancer patients, he's emphatic that it's bra-squeezed lymphatics.
Going bra-less for all occasions, Soma began dressing to de-emphasize her breasts. She also began regular breast massage and bicycle riding, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and drinking only purified water.
Two months later, her lump disappeared.
At the first frightening sign of a lump, an angry Syd Singer says, "women should take their bras off before they take their breasts off." Why wait, when you can liberate your lymphatics now.
IF YOU MUST WEAR A BRA:
Push-up and sports bras are out. Choose loose-fitting cotton bras. Make sure you can slip two fingers under the shoulder-straps and side-panels. The higher the side-panels, the more severe the restriction of major lymph nodes. Don't wear this disastrous device to sleep. Take it off at home. Massage your breasts every time you remove your bra. Sing your lymphatics into health -- or at least breathe deeply.
We all have a lymph system, of this I am sure you are aware. However, did you know that it is our bodies free movement which allows this 'system' to function properly? In other words, unlike our 'blood', the Lymph System has no pump to circulate this all important fluid.
OK, so what's the problem here? We are all concerned about the high rate of breast disease, namely breast cancer aren't we? Well, the bodies lymph system has a strong role to play in the removal of toxins from the body - how is this supposed to work properly if we are severely restricting it's function?
When we wear tight clothing, especially items which exert pressure across a small area (such as the bands and straps, underwires, etc in the average bra), some restriction or chocking will occur; the evidence of this is plain to see of an evening when we are getting ready to retire. Marks, sometimes quite unsightly, will be visible where bra straps and bands were present. It is thought that this continuous daily process of restricting the free movement of lymph fluid (bra wearing) within the breast, shoulders and collarbone area can lead to the early onset of breast disease.
The good news is that the bra is removable - trust me, it can be taken off any time you like! Evidence seems to support an increased rick exponentially coupled to longer bra wearing times. Those women who hardly ever take their bra's off and / or who wear another bra to bed are of course most at risk. The scale of risk falls exponentially down according to our habit of removing the bra. Those who only wear a bra to 'look good' with a special dress / occasion, are least at risk, etc.
It is no coincidence that are bodies are equipped with the tools they have in order to keep us healthy; the lymph system is one of our most under rated tools in our arsenal against disease; unfortunately it was designed several million years ago shortly before the bra was invented and we all tried to stop our breasts from moving!!
Check these stats;
Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer (in their study, n=2056 for the cancer group and n=2674 for the standard group).
Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.
Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.
Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer. The overall difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all was a 125-fold difference.
This above study was conducted by Singer and Grismaijer (see thier book 'Dressed to kill').