Rumour has it that bras cause an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Fact or myth? No evidence has so far supported the rumour. A new study has attempted to shed light on whether bra-wearing has any relation to breast cancer. The results showed that the risk of developing breast cancer is similar for the participants irrespective of the differing trends of wearing a bra. The rumour hence remains a rumour.
Bras and breast cancer have often been linked together. The possible association between the two began as a rumour in a 1995 book authored by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer entitled Dressed To Kill. Uptil now, the ‘theory’ put forward by the two writers has not been substantiated by concrete scientific evidence. However, the concern as to the higher incidence of breast cancer in developed countries led some researchers to test the hypothesis of bra-wearing exerting a certain influence on the incidence of breast cancer. The new study, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, found that bras do not account for an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
The study involved the participation of women with two forms of breast cancer – 454 women with invasive ductal carcinoma, and, 590 women with invasive lobular carcinoma. The subjects were interviewed to gain data about how long have they been wearing a bra, whether their bras include an underwire, together with information of their cup and band sizes, and additionally, the number of hours daily and the number of days per week they wear a bra. Furthermore, information of their family and reproductive history was also gleaned to be taken into consideration.
The results demonstrated no link between bras and increased risk of having breast cancer. Rather, the risk was shown to be similar irrespective of the factors that made up the questions in the survey: the wearing of bras does not influence the chance of having breast cancer.