Could Bras Be Causing Breast Cancer?

  • Posted on: 25 June 2007
  • By: mokshalom

I recently heard an interesting interview with Sydney Ross Singer, co-author of Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. His theory is that the constriction of the breast tissue by the modern bra is the cause of the majority of breast cancers in our Western society.

The idea is that lymph tissue in that area is unable to process toxins that would normally be removed by the lymph systems. Those toxins collect in the breast area and possibly lead to cancer.

Science hasn't really gotten behind this idea yet, but it does make some sense to me. All I know is, I find the bra to be very uncomfortable...and if something is that uncomfortable, it can't be good for you if you wear it over a long period of time. I prefer not to wear bras - I certainly don't need them for support - but I end up wearing them more to fill out my clothes and cover up my nipples.

Singer points out that it's common knowledge that constrictive underwear can cause problems for men and lower sperm counts - so why is it so off-base to consider that bras might increase the risk of breast cancer?

It may be some time before any real studies are done on the connection between bras and breast cancer. In the meantime, it's probably a good idea to give your breasts a break and take the bra off when you don't need to be wearing it. For more information, see:


I'm much more comfortable in cotton stretch "bras" from Blue Canoe ( there are other manufacturers,too)-these are nothing like underwire and lace torture devices I used to wear.

I don't know if this alone would save me or anyone else from cancer, but it seems sensible to me. Based on the link, it doesn't sound like Singer considers other lifestyle factors like diet, exposure to EMFs, sleep patterns, or breastfeeding. But yeah, another round of bra burning might be a great idea if it didn't add to greenhouse gases :-)

Well, a good question would be, were breast cancer rates higher in Victorian times, or times when women wore even more restrictive undergarments, such as corsets?