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Is Your Underwire Bra a Breast Cancer Risk?

Teaching at a yoga studio means I meet a lot of free-spirited folks. One student told me she stopped wearing underwire bras because she heard they can lead to breast cancer. This idea has been circling around that wearing a bra all day compresses the lymphatic system of the breast, resulting in accumulation of toxins that cause breast cancer. Just about every woman I know wears a bra, and most opt for the ones with supportive underwires, so are we all at risk?

To find out


Here are some reassuring words straight from the American Cancer Society.

"We do not know of any epidemiologic studies published in scientific journals that suggest bras directly contribute to breast cancer risk or that lymphatic compression by bras might cause breast cancer. "

Another fact to chew on. If wearing an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder was linked to an increased risk in breast cancer, statistics would have shown a drop in breast cancer diagnoses in the 60s when most women were burning their bras and going braless. But stats didn't drop.

So wear your push-ups, underwires, demi cups, and sports bras without fear, especially if not wearing a bra is not an option for your girls.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
movewithmary movewithmary 7 years
I figure what makes me LOVE my body is the healthiest thing for me. I didn't own a bra before I had a kid..Then I got fitted at a good bra store and my underwire makes me feel like a million bucks. I have heard bout this debate, however, so I am glad it has come up....and I do enjoy braless sometimes too!
sparklestar sparklestar 7 years
I've recently swapped out of underwire bras because they were pressing hard against cartlidge between my boobs. It was hurting A LOT! I even went to the doctor because I was worried something was terribly wrong. She just told me to either stop wearing a bra or get non-unwired ones so I did the latter! I'm lucky though because I have A cups and can go braless if I want.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
i never wear mine longer then 8 hours. as soon as i can take it off - i do it.
biarose biarose 7 years
Number #13.. I don't know what sort of bra you're wearing.. but it sounds like it's not fitted properly. If you wear the right bra you shouldn't be getting marks and indentations. It's kinda funny how you say, "Life is an intelligence test, ladies." and then go on t type a sentence that doesn't even make sense.
cg130 cg130 7 years
Thank god! I'm a C, and it's just uncomfortable to not wear an underwire bra.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
One of the first things to go when I get home from work or gym or a night out is the bra. I hate wearing bras. I may have C's but I feel so much better without a bra. :)
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
Hmm, I can't decide which is funnier, that theory or the theory that your breasts won't sag if you wear a bra to bed at night.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I can't believe this rumor is still around. Underwires definitely don't cause cancer. Thank goodness for that because I love my underwire bras.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
I can't imagine not wearing underwire. I'm fairly well-endowed, and I have no pain wire underwire bras. They're comfortable and supportive.
chillchic chillchic 7 years
I don't believe the rumor but I still don't wear underwires. Ever since my reduction 3 yeas ago, they are just too painful.
darc5204 darc5204 7 years
I always found this cancer rumor to be one of the most bizarre.
PinkNC PinkNC 7 years
But then there's nothing like a bad underwire bra. They hurt me when I first got started with them because I'm big in that area, but I learned which name brand is the best later on.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
never would I go without underwire. I have 34DDs and wear underwire bras, bathing suits, and sports bras (that look like torture devices).
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
I'd never give up the underwire! I have Aus C/D cups (not exactly tiny but not gargantuan), and I can't stand not having an underwire, I feel like I'm hanging around my ankles without one!
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