Wearing Bra Does Not Increase Breast Cancer Risk, Study Finds

The general public has some pretty wild beliefs about breast cancer. One of them would be about bras and how they allegedly contribute to the risk of getting the dreaded disease. Many self-proclaimed health experts like Joseph Mercola assert the unfounded claim of a link between bras and breast cancer. In an article published in 2009, Mercola wrote that the “the link between bras and breast cancer is about three times greater than the link between cigarette smoking and cancer.”

Fortunately, this pseudoscientific claim has finally been proven wrong. A groundbreaking study by the American Association of Cancer Research has finally debunked the longstanding myth regarding bras and breast cancer. According to the study’s findings, wearing a bra does not increase the risk of breast cancer. Studying more than 1,000 women participants, it was concluded that there were no associations whatsoever between breast cancer risk and wearing a bra. Pertinent factors, such as how long women have worn bras, whether the bras had an underwire or not, and the age when they started wearing a bra, have been considered and were found lacking contribution to the risk of breast cancer.

The study, published by the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention journal, reported that there were no significant links between regular bra use and the risk of getting breast cancer. The research involved 454 women with invasive ductal carcinoma, 590 women with invasive lobular carcinoma, and 469 women who did not have breast cancer — the latter serving as the study’s control group. All women were aged 55-70 and were gathered from the Seattle-Puget Sound metropolitan area.

Researchers collected each person’s demographic, family history, and reproductive history, according to Science Daily. They were also interviewed about their bra wearing patterns, including the age when they first started wearing the undergarment, the type of bra they wore, their bra cup size and band size, and the number of hours they wore a bra a day. Researchers also asked about changes in bra wearing patterns during their lifetimes.

There were no significant patterns unique to those who have breast cancer and those who didn’t, indicating that their use of the clothing did not actually affect the risk of having the disease. Lu Chen, MPH, a doctoral student at the University of Washington and one of the authors of the study, concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that bra use had any actual link to breast cancer, finally putting a scientific end to the non-scientific claims.

[Image from Wikimedia]