Busting a prevalent myth, a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention revealed that there is no connection between bra wearing and breast-cancer risk.
“We found no evidence that wearing a bra is associated with breast cancer,” said study author Lu Chen, a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. She’s also a doctoral student in epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.
The concept of bras, specifically underwire bras, somewhere increases the risk of breast cancer was busted by the study, funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, published Friday that found no differences in lifetime bra-wearing habits among more than 1,500 postmenopausal women ranging in age from 55 to 74, with and without a history of breast cancer.
A book published in 2005, claimed to have evidence of some connection between bras and breast cancer risk. There were concerns raised about breast cancer being more prevalent in developed countries, where women are more likely to wear bras, she said.
The consensus is that neither the type of bra you wear nor the tightness of your underwear or other clothing has any connection to breast cancer risk debunking the muth that bras impede lymph circulation and drainage, due to which toxins got trapped in breasts that can trigger tumors.
The study involved a list of question that were asked to women who were suffering from breast cancer and also those who were not. The questions were regarding their lingerie — cup size, duration for which they wore their bras every day, underwire wires they possessed, how old they were when they started wearing a bra, any family history of breast cancer, their height and weight, education level, race, income. They concluded that none of the factors possessed any connection with cancer.
Ted Gansler, the cancer group’s director of medical content, said in an e-mail that the new study “should reassure women that they can safely ignore this matter.”
The bra myth is not harmless, he said. For women without breast cancer, it could cause “anxiety and distraction from proven strategies for prevention and early detection.” For women with breast cancer, he said, it “might be a source of guilt.”