Bra-cancer: Is It True?

By Delia Torres-Enciso|October 23, 2018Top Stories|

There’s been a lot of talk around bra-cancer and how going bra free can reduce your risk for breast cancer. Bra-cancer is a term denoting the theory that wearing bras, specifically ones with underwire, may cause breast cancer. This idea first came to light in 1995 after Dressed To KIll: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Wearing a Bra, a book by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer was released explaining how bras cause breast cancer. The book claimed that underwires can restrict the flow of lymphatic fluid through breast tissue causing toxins to accumulate.

However, the American Cancer Society and a 2014 study say that this claim is not supported by any evidence. Studies conducted on over 1,500 females shows there are other contributing factors that have been correlated with an increased chance of getting breast cancer. Obesity and being overweight can increase your chance of getting breast cancer and heavier set women will wear underwire bras more often than smaller breasted women, which might explain a possible correlation supporting bra-cancer.

It can be cathartic to blame or point the finger at something within our control, like avoiding underwire bras. But it’s important to remember that Correlation does not equal causation. Scapegoating underwire bras can make it seem easy to avoid contracting breast cancer, yet there are many other relevant factors to focus on. According to the National Center for Research, the following can increase your chance for getting breast cancer:

  • A family history of breast cancer.

  • Menstruating before the age of 12.

  • Having dense breast tissue to include fibrocystic breasts.

  • Biologically being a female [Females have a 12% chance of being diagnosed within their lifetime.]

  • Females over the age of 65 have 55% chance of being diagnosed.


    Other factors that studies have shown to be correlated to increase risk include


  • A sedentary lifestyle


  • Drinking an average of 2 alcoholic beverages a day 
  • Smoking 
  • Taking hormonal therapy for menopause
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Delia Torres-Enciso

About Delia Torres-Enciso

I’m on my second year at PCC with plans to transfer to PSU next year and earn a bachelors of science degree. My academic focus is in Philosophy and Films Studies. This last summer I gained experience as a journalist intern for The Pamplin Media Group writing for The Beaverton Valley Times and The Washington County Times. My future career path is still uncertain. However, I have a strong desire to continue as a journalist and will go forth with an open mind to explore any form of media. I love to write and believe the world is in need of more factual-unbiased news reporting. I like to cover Arts & Culture and intend to delve into investigative journalism when the opportunity presents itself. During my free time I like to absorb large amounts of media through TV shows, movies, Youtube videos and memes.