Better Health through Bra-free Living
Remember when you were told tobacco was safe? Remember when you were told fast foods were healthy? Have you been told bras are good for you? Well, it seems the truth is out there, and it’s something we all need to hear.
The number 007 is normally connected with the thought of intelligence work and spies. Here at 007b.com the “B” doesn’t stand for “Bond” but for Breasts. Our goal is to get people to use their intelligence, so as not to fall prey to the typical “007 James Bond” type of thinking, which is so prevalent in many countries of our world today. A 47 year old woman who suffered from childhood sexual abuse and debilitating chronic illness in adulthood commented, “If you live long enough, you will be sick or something will be wrong with you. You’ll lose a job. You’ll have a serious accident. You’ll get sick. You’ll gain weight. How do we deal with this in a culture that worships perfection and youth?”
How Bras Are Linked To Breast Cancer
Many allopathic medicine advocates say that bras causing breast cancer is just a myth. It is true that bras do not cause breast cancer per se, but they are linked to its formation since they can prevent your body from excreting dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. The main reason why bras are bad for breast health is because they restrict the lymph flow in your breasts. There are numerous lymph pathways and lymph nodes in the armpits, under the breasts, and in between the breasts. Normally the lymph fluid washes out waste materials and other toxins away from the breasts, but bras (and especially push-up bras) inhibit this action, so toxins can start to accumulate in the breast, and that can help cancer to develop. In other words, bras inhibit the way our bodies normally cleanse themselves and get rid of cancer cells and toxins like PCBs, DDT, dioxin, benzene and other carcinogenic chemicals that cling to the body’s fatty tissues like breast. In fact, if you find a lump in your breast, it may very well be filled with lymph fluid that was not able to move away from the breast tissue.
Bra wearing may also be connected to cancer in other ways. Wearing bras slightly increases the temperature of the breast tissue, and women who wear bras have higher levels of the hormone prolactin. Both of these may influence breast cancer formation. The first comprehensive study on this subject was done by medical researcher Sydney Singer, after his wife Soma Grismaijer discovered a lump on her breast. She got rid of hers in two months by quitting bra wearing, doing regular breast massage and exercise, drinking only purified water and taking some herbs and supplemental vitamins and minerals.
Singers noticed that the Maoris of New Zealand integrated into white culture have the same rate of breast cancer, while the marginalized aboriginals of Australia have practically no breast cancer. The same was true for “Westernized” Japanese, Fijians and other bra-converted cultures. In the early 1990s Singers studied 4,500 women in 5 cities across the U.S. about their habits in purchasing and wearing bras. Though his study did not take into account other lifestyle factors, the results are too striking to be denied:
- 3 out of 4 women who wore their bras 24 hours per day developed breast cancer.
- 1 out of 7 women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed developed breast cancer.
- 1 out of 152 women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day got breast cancer.
- 1 out of 168 women who wore bras rarely or never acquired breast cancer.
So the difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all was 125-fold! The lymphatic system in the breast only develops fully during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so women who wear bras everyday and postpone having children, and those who do not breastfeed, could be at higher risk of breast cancer.
Women Evolved Bra-free
by Mavis Davis
Did you know that in Sub-Saharan Africa, the death rate from breast cancer is 3 per 100,000, compared to 20 per 100,000 in industrialized countries? Guess which part of the world wears bras? “Breasts don’t need support to be held up in the air. That’s not what thousands of years of evolution did to the female body,” says Sidney Ross Singer, medical anthropologist in Why Bras Cause Breast Cancer.
The lymphatic system consists of tiny, thin-walled vessels that drain from the breast tissue, removing toxins, cell debris, cancer cells and other products. Unlike arteries and veins, these vessels have no internal pressure and are therefore easily compressed. Bras subject breasts to pressure, closing off the lymphatic pathway from the breast to the nodes. This causes fluid build-up, swelling, tenderness and cyst formation. A bra-constricted breast cannot adequately flush out toxins, resulting in toxin accumulation in the breast that increases the chance of breast cancer.
Lymphatic circulation in many tissues is highly dependent on movement. Women evolved under conditions where there was breast movement with every step they took when they walked or ran. Every subtle bounce of the breast while moving, walking, running, etc., gently massages the breast and increases lymphatic flow and thus cleans the breast of toxins and wastes that arise from cellular metabolism.
When you sit for a long time on an airplane flight, your feet and ankles can swell because lymphatic circulation goes to near zero. Wearing a bra, especially a constricting one with underwires, and especially to bed, prevents normal lymphatic flow and would likely lead to anoxia (lower than normal oxygen content), which has been related to fibrosis, which has been linked to increased cancer risk.
This web site isn’t about women’s liberation. It’s about liberating women.
We’re not anti-bra. We’re pro-breast.
We believe healthy breasts can support themselves, free of wires and hardware.
We believe there are no known health benefits from wearing bras — but there are disturbing parallels between wearing bras and the incidence of fibrocystic disease and breast cancer.
— From the website of Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan, MD, bra-free, board certified physician in Greensboro, NC
What to Wear
from Elizabeth Vaughan, MD
In Western society, we’ve settled on the bra as a way to shield irrationally-sensitive observers from nipple phobia. That phobia is theirs, not yours. If you trash your bra, you may have to find another way to hide your God-given assets, so as not to offend the easily offended.
- Try camisoles. A camisole under a sweater will hide all but the most aggressive nipples.
- If you’re going for one layer of cloth only, try breathable surgical tape. Put a small patch on each nipple. To avoid skin irritation, put the tape on vertically one day, horizontally the next. Brands include Dermaform, Dermalight, Medipore Soft Cloth Surgical Tape, and Cover-Roll stretch by Beiersdorf AG.
- Often, I wear a camisole with an over-blouse, a long-sleeved shirt that gives me a loose second layer.
- Obviously, a suit jacket solves all problems.
- A thick sweater, perhaps with a loose camisole underneath to prevent scratching, also works.
- And there are bras that are less restrictive. They’ve available. One brand name that many women like is Barely There.
- Be creative. Throw a scarf around your neck and drape it over your chest. Wear a shirt with pockets.
Many women feel more comfortable wearing bras in public because they either minimize or accentuate their breasts with bras. Worst case, if you’re in a situation where only a bra will do, then wear one if that makes you comfortable. But, you make that decision. Don’t let someone else make it for you. And, the very minute the event is over, get that bra off. Bras are not good for breasts.
QUOTES FROM ELIZABETH
“Healthy breasts don’t need support. Noses don’t, either. Or ears. Or arms. If you put your left arm in a sling for six weeks, on the first morning of the seventh week, you’d need ‘support’ for that arm, because it would have lost all muscle tone.”
“In exploring the possibility that bras relate to breast cancer, we are about where we were in the 1950s with respect to cigarettes causing lung cancer. Doctors began to see men present with lung cancer who had a long history of smoking. It took 20-30 years to “prove” the connection and 40 years to prove causation. Many physicians — perhaps most physicians — and the American Cancer Society assert that no link has been positively demonstrated between bras and breast cancer. But, then, we waited 50 years for someone to demonstrate a positive link between cigarettes and lung cancer.”
“Nipples scare insecure people, but they don’t scare babies!”
Bra/Disease Research Timeline
Compiled by Patricia Burke
A few highlights of the history of research on bras and breast disease
- Around 1930. A paper is published making a connection between corsets and increased breast cancer rates.
- 1978. An M.D. in California publishes an article in a medical journal linking bras with elevated breast temperature and suggests that this might have a connection with breast cancer. After studying several hundred women in a medical practice, he also observed that the heavier the bra material, the hotter the breast, and that bra-free women of all sizes had cooler breasts. (The Lancet, November 4, 1978, P. 1001 Dr. John M. Douglass, Department of Internal Medicine, S. Calif. Permanente Med. Center Los Angeles, California). See also item #8 for more about breast temperature.
- 1991. Researchers at Harvard University publish a medical journal article on breast cancer risk. As a side issue of their paper, they mention that the women in their study that did not wear bras had a 60% lower rate of breast cancer than the women who wore bras. (Hsieh, C.C. and D. Trichopoulos, D. Eur. J. Cancer 27:131-5, 1991. &ldqou;Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk”)
- 1991. Researchers in Japan publish a study on bras and sagging, in which they prove that a bra can actually increase breast sagging, rather than the opposite. This effect was most noticeable in larger breasted women. They compared bras to foot binding in their discussion section. (&ldqou;Breast Form Changes Resulting From A Certain Brassiere” Journal of Hum. Ergol. (Tokyo). Jun, 1990; 19(1):53-62. Ashizawa K, Sugane A, Gunji T. Institute of Human Living Sciences, Otsuma Women’s University, Tokyo, Japan)
- 1995. Sydney Singer and Soma Grismaijer of the Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease publish their book Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, Avery Press. Their study included almost 4600 women, half of whom had breast cancer and half of whom did not. (In their study n=2056 for the cancer group and n=2674 for the standard group). What Singer and Grismaijer found was that the odds of getting breast cancer dramatically increased with bra-wearing over 12 hours per day. The Singer and Grismaijer website is http://www.selfstudycenter.org.
- 1995 through the present. Many women who had concerns about breast cancer risk and/or breast pain, quit wearing bras and then found that their pain and cysts of fibrocystic breast disease was dramatically decreased or eliminated. Several of these women wrote their own personal case histories, which appear on the web at http://www.all-natural.com/fibrocys.html
- May 1999. A landmark study was published in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet. This study showed that pre-menopausal women with fibrocystic breast disease have an almost 6-fold higher risk of future breast cancer. This study firmly refutes the advice of some doctors who have said that fibrocystic carries no increased risk. In all, there are now over 30 published medical and scientific research articles showing a connection between fibrocystic and increased breast cancer risk. (The Lancet. May 22, 1999; 353(9166):1742-5. &ldqou;Risk of breast cancer in women with palpable breast cysts: a prospective study.” Edinburgh Breast Group. Dixon JM, McDonald C, Elton RA, Miller WR. Edinburgh Breast Unit, Western General Hospital, UK.)
- 2000. Two British breast surgeons conduct clinical trials at two breast clinics in England and Wales. They study 100 women to see if going bra-free (a more positive term the physicians used for bra-less) could lessen breast pain. Their study concluded that the majority of pre-menopausal women found decreased pain during a three-month bra-free study period. The women were instructed to not wear a bra for three months, and instead to wear a loose and non-restricting camisole if they desired an alternative undergarment. For comparison, they then returned to wearing bras for the another three months. For additional study control, another group of women did the reverse and were bra-wearers for three months, then bra-free for three months. A half-hour documentary was filmed in conjunction with the studies and was shown on nationwide television in England in November, 2000 on Channel 4 UK. Several of the women were interviewed and discussed the life-altering improvements in their breast health, such as being able to now pick up their children or hug their spouse without pain. (Simon Cawthorne, M.D., surgeon at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, England and Prof. Robert Mansel, M.D., Surgery Dept. Head, University of Wales Medical School, Cardif, Wales.)Doctors interviewed in the film commented about how breasts in bras are hotter than bra-free breasts and the possible connection of this breast heating with breast cancer. Prof. Hugh Simpson discussed his published research, which has previously proven that pre-cancerous and cancerous breasts are both hotter than normal breasts. The documentary included video thermography of women with and without bras, proving that bras cause localized heating of breast tissue.
- 2000. A group of researchers in Japan published their studies showing that wearing a girdle and bra lowers the levels of the hormone melatonin by 60 percent. (Chronobiol Int., Nov 2000;17(6):783-93. “The effects of skin pressure by clothing on circadian rhythms of core temperature and salivary melatonin.” Lee YA, Hyun KJ, Tokura H, Department of Environmental Health, Nara Women’s University, Japan.)Melatonin is intimately involved with sleep cycles and is used to prevent jet-lag. Numerous published studies have suggested that melatonin has anti-cancer activities, that it is an antioxidant and can prevent DNA damage, and that it is intimately involved in the immune system and can bind directly to T helper cells. Researchers in Spain have published an article outlining the possible use of melatonin in breast cancer prevention and treatment (Histol Histopathol, Apr 2000; 15(2):637-47).Recent research (J. Hansen, “Light at Night, Shiftwork, and Breast Cancer Risk.%rdquo; J Natl Cancer Inst. 2001; 93: 1513-1515) has shown that nighttime exposure to light is associated with increased rates of breast cancer. This builds upon previous research that showed that light at night suppresses melatonin production.
- December 2000. A medical doctor publishes his findings on shoulder pain treatment in women with large breasts. In this five-year study, it was suggested that patients remove the weight from their shoulders for a period of two weeks, either by going braless or by wearing a strapless bra. Only one woman chose a strapless bra and all the others went braless. Quoting the article, “Long-term outcome was presence or absence of muscle pain and tenderness. Seventy-nine percent of patients decided to remove breast weight from the shoulder permanently because it rendered them symptom free.” (Ryan, EL, Clin J Pain. Dec 2000;16(4):298-303, “Pectoral girdle myalgia in women: a 5-year study in a clinical setting.”)