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Burn Your Bras, Again!

Burn Your Bras, Again!

Posted: 2019/09/04

Garden City Park, NY: Could wearing a tight bra really be one of the leading causes of breast cancer? New and continuing research—presented in the form of a new article published this week, a month before National Breast Cancer Awareness Month commences in October—provides continuing support to this claim, which has remained a major controversy since first announced by medical anthropologists Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer in their book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (first published in 1995, and now fully updated for Square One’s “Second Edition” release).

The new article—“Bras Cause More than Breast Cancer: Preliminary Results of the International Bra-Free Study"—is focused on Singer and Grismaijer's ongoing International Bra-Free Study. Begun in 2018, the study's key purpose is to assess the changes that a woman experiences once she stops using bras. According to Singer, who remains in place as Director of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease, the study now counts nearly 1,000 women as willing participants.

In addition to Singer and Grismaijer's groundbreaking work from the mid-1990s, which first showed how tight bras cut off the flow of the lymphatic system that surrounds the breast tissue, their new study is in line with a growing number of other studies throughout the world in the past decade that has also found that any form of tight clothing (according to Singer's article) "compresses our soft body tissues, impairing the function of blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves, and more. Research shows tight neckties, tight pants, girdles, corsets, bras, and other compression garments can cause serious harm."

Following the lead of Singer and Grismaijer, along with a study published in 2002 by the International Journal of Biometeorology, there has also been:

* A study based out of Spain in 2011 that found bras in general—underwire bras, in particular—were being increasingly linked to breast disease;

* A study based out of Nairobi in 2014 found a bra-cancer link in pre- and post-menopausal women;

* A major study, based out of Brazil and built directly upon the precepts of Singer and Grismaijer's work in Fiji back in the mid-'90s, was published in the May 2016 issue of Journal of Oncology Research and Treatment and, as described by Singer in his new article, was "the first epidemiological study to look at bra tightness and time worn, and found a significant bra-cancer link"; and

* An early 2018 article published in the Journal of Dermatological Science  ("Lymph stasis promotes tumor growth") was a testament to what many medical expertis across Europe and Asia said they had believed for more than a decade—the impairment of lymphatic flow throughout the female breast and elsewhere in the body caused by the wearing of bras was a key factor in subsequent diagnosis of cancer throughout much of the world.

All of which begs the question: What does any woman really stand to lose by losing their bra? For Singer and Grismaijer, together with the nearly one thousand women who have chosen to go bra-less as a part of the continued study, safety and comfort and peace of mind is what can be gained by taking this one stand against so-called established convention and cultural norm.

To learn more about what Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer have to say about bras and breast cancer, check out a copy of Dressed to Kill—Second Edition. If you or someone you know is concerned about the possibility of breast cancer due to bras, consider becoming a participant in the International Bra-Free Study by visiting