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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-02-07 09:54 AM
Original message
Bras and breast cancer
There is a thread about cancer and toxins on the greatest page. I just happened to mention somewhere in that thread that there is at least some suggestion that wearing bras that are too tight for too long could be linked to breast cancer, and needed studying. A couple of people jumped on me for that post. I didn't document it as well as I should have so I corrected that. In any case, since this is the "alternative healing" group, I just thought I would bring this up.

Here is a website showing the possible connection between wearing bras and breast cancer

Here is something about the lymphatic system

Unlike the blood system, the lymphatic system is not closed and has no central pump. Lymph movement occurs slowly with low pressure due to peristalsis, valves, and the milking action of skeletal muscles. Like veins, lymph travels through vessels in one way only, due to semilunar valves. This depends mainly on the movement of skeletal muscles to squeeze fluid through them, especially near the joints. Rhythmic contraction of the vessel walls through movements may also help draw fluid into the smallest lymphatic vessels, capillaries. Tight clothing can restrict this, thus reducing the removal of wastes and allowing them to accumulate. If tissue fluid builds up the tissue will swell; this is called edema. As the circular path through the body's system continues, the fluid is then transported to progressively larger lymphatic vessels culminating in the right lymphatic duct (for lymph from the right upper body) and the thoracic duct (for the rest of the body); both ducts drain into the circulatory system at the right and left subclavian veins. The system collaborates with white blood cells in lymph nodes to protect the body from being infected by cancer cells, fungi, viruses or bacteria. This is known as a secondary circulatory system.

Just thought I would share one of my *mom* lectures to my daughters. Don't wear a bra at home, make sure they are large enough, don't wear bras with bones, etc. etc. etc.

This isn't really exactly based on any particular research, but just a strong intuitive sense that this is not good for us!! (my muscle testing and pendulum and my common sense all agree).

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Holly_Hobby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-02-07 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. I've had 4 surgeries on my left breast
due to mastitis....from wearing bras. I'm a 38 DD, I always wore an underwire bra "for support".

I've never had children, so the mastitis definitely wasn't from that.

Finally, after the 4th mastitis infection and surgery to remove the dead tissue (antibiotics don't work well with large breasts), the surgeon told me to stop wearing bras completely at home, and to only wear a stretch lace sleep bra when I leave the house.

It worked. After six years, no more mastitis or surgeries.

The first 3 surgeries were done before lasers came on the market. It was extremely painful.

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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-02-07 02:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. oh sorry you had to go through that
I'm glad you finally got some relief.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-02-07 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. That makes sense
My doctor had two radical mastectomies and knows a lot about breast cancer because of it. She's on vacation, but I will ask her about this when she returns (I'm cat-sitting for her while she's gone, so I'll have a chance to ask.).

I tend to take bras off as soon as I can. I'm lucky in that I have very small breasts (cup size would be A or AA) and so I can "get away" without a bra in public, though I usually wear a padded one so folks can tell I'm female!
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Holly_Hobby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-02-07 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. One thing to do after taking off your bra:
Massage your breasts to get the fluids flowing in the right direction again.

Or, if you're a bit larger like me, bend over from the waist and give them a good shaking. More good advice from the surgeon that's kept me from more surgery.

If I were you, I'd give up the bras completely. The only reason you need one is because society says so. They're very bad for breast health.

I'd be interested to hear what your doctor has to say.

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PADemD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
20. Which is the right direction?
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-02-07 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
5. I jerk that harness off as soon as I get home!
I have large breasts 38DDD, so going w/o in our society is a NO NO. Especially since I teach HS. But I NEVER wear one at home. Occasionally have to run & put one on if my son's friend's come over, but other than that, I let it all hang out (& down)! LOL!
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-03-07 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'm big on top like you, so not wearing one ever is out of the question.
But I too take it off as soon as I get home - and don't put one on during the weekend unless I'm going out.
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Desertrose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-03-07 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. They are torture devices for sure!!
My shoulders have deep grooves from wearing the stupid things. But for the past 10 years or so, only when I go out...and like you I let it all hang out (& down) otherwise. LOL.

Being a crone is so freeing!!! :bounce: :evilgrin:

:) DR
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southerncrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-03-07 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Amen.
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Silver Gaia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-03-07 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
9. Wow, I think this is very interesting, too. Thanks for posting this!
Edited on Wed Oct-03-07 04:59 AM by Joolz
It makes a lot of sense to me. I wonder about the fabrics, too. Lots of synthetics in most bras. I try to buy cotton ones, and always soft cup. I need the underwires, but that's as far as it goes.

Like the rest of you, I also detest the damn things. Always have. I never-ever-ever wear one at home. I only put one on when I HAVE to. One thing I love about cooler weather is that if I'm going somewhere where I don't have to remove my coat or jacket--like just to the grocery store or something--I don't wear one when I go out of the house then, either. I didn't wear one for years and years (unless I wanted to for fun ;) ). I didn't need to, and unless it was absolutely necessary, I just didn't do it. But after my daughter was born, it became more of a necessity because it was more obvious when I didn't wear one. Gads, I hate them.

The FIRST thing to come off the minute I hit the door is my bra. Unhook it, reach up sleeve, pull one strap off, then up the other sleeve to pull the other strap off, then toss it! The NEXT thing is my shoes. :D
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-03-07 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
10. Here's what I found useful:
There seem to be a few places that have tops with the shelf bra built in. Sure, it doesn't have a lot of support like a regular bra; but it is just a very light elastic that keeps them from bouncing around and your nips from showing. I got two or three tank tops like this at Target this summer; and I know that New York & Co (division of the Limited) carries some also. I wear these around the house and even under a light sweater to the store; and it feels secure without being binding.

Might want to see if you can catch any of these on sale. For you ladies above a size C to small D; try Lane Bryant's sale racks too.
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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I do the same thing
Hello folks, this is my very first post.

I use the shelf bra camisoles for public wear instead of a bra and I have started to experiment with sewing my own camisoles out of organic cotton jersey knit fabric. My goal is to solve the public issue but get none of the discomfort (the shelf bra is not perfect either). So far I am making very slow progress. I do think that it a major issue for women of all ages. Especially if one tries to do anything athletic. So I look forward to reading other posts. And I look at pictures of old traditional women's costumes for ideas as well.

The winter is the easiest as I wear a wool vest that is snug, not tight and it is fine in public and completely comfortable.
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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Welcome to DU & to the AS&AH group, Tumbula!

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japple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. When I was much younger, I would wear bandaids to cover
my nipples, and forget about the rest. Of course, I was quite small, but that was long ago. Now, when I go to buy shirts, I try to find them with 2 breast pockets and that takes care of the problem.
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Sweet Freedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. You can buy nipple covers shaped like petals.
I forgot what they are called. I'll ask my mom -- she sells them in her boutique.

(Watch them be called nipple petals or something obvious. :) )
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Grateful for Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
14. I first heard of this possible connection
about 11 years ago when my husband and I attended a complementary medicine conference. I believe there were some studies in Germany (I may not be right about the country) that showed at least a significant correlation between daily length of time of bra-wear and incidence of cancer, with those who wore bras essentially 24/7 being the most prone to the disease.

I think this makes a lot of sense because the bra is, of course, an invention of "modern" man and not something that nature intended.

But, I do have a daughter who is very large-breasted, and, she says that they make her feel more comfortable.

It's hard to know what the answer is here, but, I suspect that, for those who need bras in order to alleviate symptoms such as back pain there must be a better way to design them.

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I Have A Dream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'm medium sized, and I also feel more comfortable with a bra...
than without one as long as I have a comfortable bra. (Otherwise, wearing a bra is torture.) I've never worn an underwire bra. In fact, I've never even tried one on.

I had a roommate in college who was very large-breasted and even had to wear a bra when she slept. She couldn't sleep on her stomach either. I can't imagine being restricted like that. (Both of my sisters are very large-breasted, and I've always been very happy that I'm not, even though it's very highly valued in my family.)

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stellanoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Couldn't agree with you more Dream.
Always felt underwires were really unhealthy and restrictive to the lymph system.

Happened to stumble across some camisoles a couple of years ago.

They have elastic that stops a person from bouncing all around and the rest of them are lace.

They are like wearing nothing but do lend a modicum of support.

They are the most comfortable upper undergarment I've ever worn and aren't at all old lady-ish.

But I really think that all thongs give one is an all-day wedgie.


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davsand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-04-07 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
18. When I get home, first off is my shoes THEN the bra comes off.
Yep, I'm also large busted, and a bra is more than just a social convention for me. Yes, "the girls" have made a run for the equator as I have aged, but frankly I need some support to avoid pain in my chest. In reading this, I have to admit that I now wonder about all the sports bras and how restrictive those are. That can't be good for us...

I dunno--I now will wear pants with elastic in the waist and slip on shoes (which I would NEVER do when I was younger.) I figure the wearing of a bra is a similar type of decision. Maybe I'll just duct tape everything in place and skip the bras. (When I consider taking OFF that duct tape I may re-think this idea.) :)

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morningglory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. My invention for bra-haters, can wear to work...
I wear 38D. Size 11 panties, all cotton. I made bras out of my panties. Turn panties upside down and backwards. Cut the crotch out (don't cut too much till you try on and figure out how much you need to take out) and wear upside-down backwards panties for bras. They reduce the jiggling, but do not bind at all. Wear them to work. The first few I made, I spent an hour hemming the cut edge, but the knit of the panties prevents un-ravelling, so I just cut the hole and off I go.
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
21. Tight bras can cause some nursing mothers to develop plugged ducts
and infections (very painful). It is all about the lymphatic system. A link between tight or ill-fitting bras and breast cancer wouldn't surprise me.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
22. Personally I am even more concerned about estrogen mimics in deoderents and lotions like Parabens
Edited on Sat Oct-13-07 11:18 PM by Shallah
cosmetics and even medical creams like hydrocortizone. parabens, if i recall correctly, in addition to be an estrogen mimic also makes your skin more permeable so anything you come in contact with is more apt to penetrate the skin.

Concern over deodorant chemicals

Parabens and Breast Cancer

Cosmetics, Parabens, and Breast Cancer

Darbre also pointed out in an interview with the New Scientist (January 12, 2004) that: "One would expect tumors to occur evenly, with 20 percent arising in each of the five areas of the breast. But these results help explain why up to 60 percent of all breast tumors are found in just one-fifth of the breast, the upper-outer quadrant, nearest the underarm." This fact has never been adequately explained. A few years back Darbre presented a hypothesis regarding the possible
biological mechanisms by which the chemical present in deodorants/antiperspirants might contribute to breast cancer. Aluminum zirconium salts are almost always present in these products and aluminum is known to bind to DNA and had been linked to the development of granulomas. One simple scenario would be that the aluminum could damage the DNA of breast cells and the parabens could then promote the growth of damaged cells. This could explain the disproportionate
number of breast cancer in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast. Furthermore, it is known that the left breast is more prone to the development of breast cancer than the right breast. Darbre suggests that this could be due to the fact that the majority of population is right-handed which would result in more chemicals applied to the left underarm area.

Philip Harvey, an editor of the Journal of Applied Toxicology, in the same issue of the journal where the research appeared, discussed the significance of the 2004 study. He pointed out that there is logic to Darbre's hypothesis and that because of the huge size of the population exposed and because of the direct application of the compounds to the skin, further research regarding the possible harm of parabens is warranted. He also wrote that in 2002 a widely quoted study that examined antiperspirant use and the risk of breast cancer found no association based on retrospective interviews. But the question of specific ingredients and not simply antiperspirants was not investigated and he proposed that research should be designed that is sensitive to "any effects of long-term, low-level exposure to mixtures." Plus, Harvey and Darbre also raise the issue of the effects of estrogen-like compounds on children and those at higher risk of breast cancer.

The Cancer-Antiperspirant 'Myth'
Could Shaving And Antiperspirant Be Related To Breast Cancer?

But it didn't take into account how often a woman shaved and used antiperspirant, which McGrath considered crucial. So he did his own study of breast cancer patients and found this: The more these women shaved and used antiperspirants, the sooner they got breast cancer.

Is he trying to say all cases of breast cancer could be linked to antiperspirants and shaving?

"Absolutely not," McGrath says. "Breast cancer has existed since Hippocrates. But when you plot the sales of antiperspirant deodorants with the incidence of breast cancer in the United States, they both have grown in almost a parallel fashion."

It's not conclusive proof, but enough, McGrath says, to call for large-scale studies.
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-13-07 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. yup
It's like a tag team, don't you think? Toxins in the environment, especially deoderant, are the cause, but the inability of the breast to flush them out may be due to constriction by tight bras.

I hadn't thought about shaving but that makes sense.

Why aren't there more studies on all this? Too many women get breast cancer.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-14-07 03:31 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. A healer I have worked with always tells me to work with my chakras there
she advises all her clients because of so stuff including emotions tied up with and impacting that area of the body. Open up the Chakras and flush them with positive energy like Reiki. Draw figure eights mentally to balance the energy between them. Sometimes I do the figure eights on my brain but lately it makes me dizzy and my eyes go like this :crazy: Tonight after reading a bit on the lymph system I tried the Reiki flush on my whole whole lymph system. It made my insides shiver a bit but in a good way.

as for the studies - what money is there in preventive medicine :/ Compare that to coming up with a new 'wonder' drug (wonder as in wonder how it got approved, wonder how I am gonna pay for it, wonder if the side effects are worse than the problem).
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Celebration Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-14-07 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. lymph movement
The ways to encourage lymph fluid movement that I can think of off the top of my head are mini trampoline, and chi machine. I bet yoga and various marshall arts do it too. My daughter lies on a mat when she goes to the energy healer--the mat supposedly flushes out the lymph system. I have NO idea what that is. I just found out about it so I will be asking her more.

I was looking through the Mumby website and found something on total body vibration. I wonder what that's about too? There is such a thing as lymph massage as well. Acupuncture should work, too. That's great that the reiki flush helped.

Family foundations should fund studies like this.....or the part of NIH that focuses on alternative medicine.
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-15-07 05:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. Jogging.
Any activity that increases metabolic rate, I believe. The main thing is to get moving.
I like my exercise ball to get lymph pumping. Just sitting and bouncing is good enough.
If there is a lazy way, I'll find it.
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Shallah Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-15-07 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. The Breast Cancer Fund funds research into environmental causes of breast cancer

btw there is a free donation site that generates a small donation per click from the ads on that page:

Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization focused on identifying the environmental causes of breast cancer and preventing the disease.

Only 10 percent of breast cancers are genetic, and science increasingly points to environmental factors in the sharp rise of breast cancer incidence. For this reason, the Breast Cancer Fund has adopted the bold mission to eliminate the environmental causes of the disease, including toxic chemicals and radiation. Through public education, policy initiatives, outdoor challenges and other innovative campaigns, the Breast Cancer Fund mobilizes the public to secure the changes needed to stop this devastating epidemic.

re: whole body vibration - there are vibration platforms now out in gyms based on those orginally developed for NASA to fight bone loss in astronauts. No gravity= bone loss. Vibration stimulates bone growth. I read of a study showing stomping works great in reversing bone loss in women but could never access the entire study stating how long to stomp. My Mom has osteoporosis in one hip and her twit of a doctor prescribed fosamax on her when she had severe acid reflux. It got so much worse she finally told him to take her off it so I would REALLY love to know more about the stomp therapy so I can maybe get her to try it. anyhoo back to the vibration platforms you can now buy one for home use for $$$ as well as gyms using them. It seems that in addition to bone density it increases muscle building when weight lifting on one. Since I can't pay the $ for one I have tried to talk my Mom into using her back massager on her hip joint just in case it helps.
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BlackVelvet04 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-16-07 08:38 PM
Response to Original message
28. Thanks for this info.....
I didn't know bras were linked to breast cancer, but I go braless whenever I feel I can. I'm a 34DD so that isn't often in public but I never wear one at home unless I have company.

Something I wanted to share......I started taking the antioxidant Grapeseed Extract. In 2 weeks time the cysts in my breasts that I had for 20+ years were gone. Completely! There is preliminary evidence that grapeseed extract may protect against breast cancer. Considering that it is good for you it seems a reasonable precaution to take.

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