Brassieres, Breathing and Breast Cancer
that can run at 1/3 speed with normal pitch dialog. It was very useful. I hope that you find it interesting.
"Bras, the Bare Facts"
A documentary by Channel 4 UK.
Narrator -- In the 60s and 70s, women took off their bras as a gesture of liberation. We got a hundred more
women to do the same thing for science. All their lives women have been told that bras are good for their breasts
and good for their looks, but is it true? Tonight, some are going to find that the effect of taking off their
bra can be surprising.
Lorenza Nicholls-- "When you take your bra off at night it's such a relief."
Narrator -- Breasts weren't designed by nature to be harnessed by a bra. For years women have had their breasts
pushed around in the name of fashion and beauty. From every direction, women are giving the impression that
wearing a bra is good for them. Meanwhile, breast problems are on the increase. 2 out of 5 women suffer from
pains in their breasts. 7% suffer from lumps in the breasts called cysts. And breast cancer levels in Britain are
2/3rds higher today than they were thirty years ago. Most researchers looked for explanations in hormones,
genetics, and diet. But one man has gone out on a limb with a simpler solution.
Singer noticed that breast cancer rates were lower in Fiji where many women don't wear bras.
His later survey of 5000 US women led him to claim that bras cause cancer.
Sydney Singer -- "Throughout the world, the only cultures where there is breast cancer is where there are bras.
Bras are actually a form of breast binding. Just as the Chinese bound feet in the name of fashion, and for hundreds
of years distorting feet and causing broken bones and everything. Bras are breast bindings. Their purpose is to
change the shape of the breast. There is nothing good about them. In fact, there is nothing good in the medical
literature saying that women should wear them, that there are a benefit in any way at all. They're just a fashion
accessory, and the problem is that our culture has turned breasts into fashion accessories.
The fact that a bra snaps shows how tight it is. This pressure is here too (he demonstrates on a woman wearing a bra),
all along this part of the breast. And it will go under the armpit. Now if you lift your arm, you will see right here how
her body goes in with these straps. If you lift this (side band) up, you will marks left by the bra, right here. And
then this under wire here is putting marks right in the skin. Lymph nodes are little factories for white blood cell
production; they're essential parts of our immune system. They're fed by lymphatic vessels, which go from the tissue
and go to the lymph node, flushing the tissue. Now the lymph nodes, most of the lymph nodes for the breasts are in
this part of the body (near and in the armpit). So this is where 85% of the breast drains to. So when you have a bra
with the strap cutting it off right here (near the underarm), that's constant chronic constriction."
Several doctors do acknowledge that the bra could be a problem.
Dr. Simon Cawthorne -- "Well, I'm sure women choose their bras for the shape rather than the comfort. And I say that
because I invariably see women, when I'm examining their breasts, who have deep marks on their breasts where their
bras have been digging into the flesh."
He said the following while speaking to the women who volunteered for the study: "We have enormous cues of women
when you come to the clinic waiting to be seen, so from our point of view it would make our life a lot easier, but from
your point of view, from your perspective, it clearly would be a major advantage."
Dr. Robert Mansel -- "When one looks at where there's positive evidence that bras are good for health, that evidence
does not exist, because the groups that don't wear bras, the civilizations of people who don't wear bras, tend to be from
the groups having lower breast cancer incidences.
There is no positive evidence that bra wearing is good for the breast. Cysts and pain are areas where the facts really are
quite sparse. I think the right thing is to do the experiment and see if there's any effect, and that's exactly why I've
gone into this enterprise.
Breast pain is a major problem. We've been studying it for 25 years now.
It's very common - something like 60 or 70 of women at some time experience it. And it's very hard to treat and so
those features alone makes it a very important problem."
Narrator -- What could link the work of these doctors with Singer's is not cancer, but much more common though far
less publicized complaints like breast pain and cysts.
Dr. Marlene Schuytvlot, registrar of the Bristol Breast Care Center -- "All the lymphatic flow seems to come from the
breast towards the skin and then out into the lymphatic drainage systems. By wearing a bra that is constricting, that
could constrict the main flow from the lymph to the draining system, then can therefore accumulate in the breast,
which in theory could cause cyst formation."
Rae Marsh, childcare worker, suffers from cysts and severe breast pain. She says, "Having breast pain is really hard to
live with, because it affects you on so many different levels. Just things like picking your children up. If your breast pain's
bad, picking your children up just makes it hurt so much more that you just can't hug the children the way you'd hug them
if you didn't have the breast pain. Walking along a street, it hurts to walk, it's not about having large breasts, it's about
having just every step hurt. And it can just be so uncomfortable that you just feel miserable all the time, and it's
just an ongoing ache."
Narrator -- So Dispatches (the documentary program from Channel 4-UK) asked Prof. Mansel in Cardiff and Mr. Cawthorne
in Bristol to devise a study to test the proposition that there might be a link between breast pain and cysts and the bra.
A six-month trial, which is what they proposed, could not explore any immediate link with cancer, since that takes much
longer to develop. The doctors are going to ask women who attend their breast clinic to join in, women either with cysts
or regular breast pain. And with cysts always comes the fear of cancer.
Lynne Holliday -- "There is always anxiety. You can never quite be sure that it's just a cyst."
Marian Gooden -- "I just seem to grow them, like people grow weeds in their garden. It's almost like a toothache in
your breast. They become incredibly painful. You sort of walk around almost holding your breasts, because you are
trying to ease the pain in your breasts."
1. For the study, they want a hundred women to wear a bra for three months and go without one for another three months.
The women will also have ultrasound scans to see what's happening to their cysts, and keep daily records of their pain.
2. Bras are marketed on sex appeal and as essential for support. Yet there is no medical evidence to support the widely
held belief that bras prevent the breasts from sagging.
Dr. Mansel - "We've got stretching of the breasts ligaments and
in later life, that occurs very regularly anyway,
Playtex (a bra manufacturer in England) executive, John Dixey -- "We have no evidence that wearing a bra could prevent
sagging, because the breast itself is not muscle, so keeping it toned up is an impossibility. What it can do, particularly
for larger-breasted women, is obviously to provide the comfort and the support. So, if a woman wants a particular breast
profile, she will buy a particular brand, and that is what they're designed for. There's no permanent effect on the breast
from wearing a particular bra. The bra will give you the shape the bra's been designed to give while you're wearing it.
Of course, when you take it off, you go 'au natural.' "
Narrator -- After three months living without a bra, some of the women have noticed a difference.
Well that's lessened definitely."
people to be on the study going brafree. And as the weeks have gone on, it's become much much easier to be without pain.
I get the odd days of twinges rather than days of absolute agony. I'm finding more concern about having to go back to
the end of the trial to wearing a bra for the final three months. So, from dreading being braless, I'm now dreading being
a bra wearer."
Narrator -- As the second half of the trial gets underway, Prof. Mansel draws our attention to another potential problem
with wearing a bra, the effect it has on the temperature of the breast.
Dr. Mansel -- We know that wearing a bra, the breast is hotter, and there have been studies done of measuring breast
skin temperature and it can show hotter areas and cancers are associated with hotter areas of course."
Narrator -- One way of measuring the temperature of the breast is by thermography. Using a heat sensitive camera,
a specialist in this technique, Prof. Francis Ring, uses thermography to show that a breast without a bra is cooler.
Prof. Ring (pointing to a live video thermogram of a woman while she is wearing and then ot wearing a bra) --
"You can see a buildup of heat here at the lower edge of the garment, which is caused by pressure on the skin.
When the garment is removed, the areas of pressure are shown as hotter areas and a band is visible on the side
view showing where the maximum pressure was in this garment. There is some increased heat approximately overlying
the area of the seam, where of course the material has more than one thickness."
Dr. Cawthorne -- It may be that the bra is producing a heating effect on the breast resulting in the breast secreting more
fluid. At the moment we don't know, but it is possible that a cooler is a healthier breast from the point of view of producing
less fluid, producing less cysts and producing less pain."
Narrator -- Another three months have gone by and the trial period is over. Several women who have taken part now
have a radically different attitude to wearing bras.
Lawrenza Nicholls -- "I think that the advertisements, you know, they say "comfort, control and support" on the packaging.
And so you just continue wearing the bras, don't you. You don't think for one minute there's the possibility that the bra
could be giving you the pain. But after three months of not wearing a bra, the conclusion that I've come to is "contain,
restrain, and pain" wearing a bra."
Lynn Holliday (who has gone back to wearing bras even though her condition had improved while braless) -- "I know
I shouldn't be wearing a bra. I know I shouldn't, just like I know I shouldn't be eating the things that I eat. But, it's
habit; it's being the same as everybody else. I don't want people to look at me and think, "She isn't wearing a bra,
strange woman at her age, what is she doing?" So, I conform, I suppose."
Rae Marsh (who is shown taking off her blouse and showing off her burgundy-colored camisole, and then shown taking
it off, putting her old bra on, and then taking off the bra in disgust) -- "I actually feel nicer in this (camisole) than I ever
did in this (bra). It's sexier; it's nicer; it's a nicer feel. It (the bra) does sorta pull your boobs around for you. And the
long-term aches and pains, this is the sort of, you know, the "underwire, hold-it-all-still type" bra. It's just so
uncomfortable that you soon lose the novelty value of wanting to wear it (the bra), so for me that's been the answer - get rid of bra."
Narrator - The daily records the women have kept show a marked difference between post-menopausal women
and those still having periods. Women with periods who used to suffer pain wearing a bra, found that they had
significantly more pain-free days without one. The percentage of days when the pain was moderate to severe
was halved. For some individuals like Rae, it feels even better than that.
Rae Marsh - "The results of this breast study has given me back my freedom. I can pick the children up whenever
I want to. I can do anything and the breast pain has now for me gone more and more into the background. I'm not
anxious about my breast lumps because the pain's not there so you don't have it constantly on your mind and worrying
about it. I get on with life; I enjoy life more. I don't have to have a constant pain all the time."
Marian Godden - "For me, this whole trial has been magic, absolute magic. I would have never have thought that leaving
one part of my garment, my underwear off, would have such an effect on my life. It's magic. I can't see me ever wearing
a bra again."
Narrator - On average in the pre-menopausal group the study reveals that the number of totally pain-free days went up
by 7 percent, which the doctors regard as significant for a problem that is otherwise so hard to treat. On the other hand
the study yields no useful statistics about cyst formation.
Nicholls -- "The positive result was that the pain is a lot easier. It was a definite difference by not wearing a bra."
Narrator -- The trial does point to a possible link between wearing a bra and breast pain among the women still
That could have wider significance. Several other studies have shown a link between breast pain among pre-menopausal
women and breast cancer. Researchers in Paris, for instance, have found that women with monthly breast pain have double
the risk of getting breast cancer. Statistically, they say, pain is as significant a risk factor as a family history of cancer.
Prof. Jean-Christophe Thalabard, Univ. of Paris Hospital - "The reason why we were astonished by the results (is) the fact that
usually when we look at some risk factor for breast cancer, the order of magnitude is 1.1 or 1.2. It's not so high, I mean.
When you go to 2 and above (double the risk, which is what they found for breast pain), it usually deals with familial factors,
personal history of breast disease, but not for, I mean, common clinical symptoms. So it was for us something which
was astonishingly high."
Narrator -- The trial in Bristol and Cardiff indicates nothing about the onset of cancer, only that breast pain might be relieved
by not wearing a bra. But even that could be useful.
Dr. Thalabard -- "I would say that reducing breast pain is an
itself, because you need to have a normal life
Narrator - The fact that the bra can contribute to making the breast hotter could also have wider significance. Prof. Hugh
Simpson, a cancer specialist in Glasgow, invented something called the Chronobra, specifically to measure changes in
breast temperature during the menstrual cycle.
Professor Hugh Simpson, Glasgow Royal Infirmary -- "The temperature difference, the circulation difference between the
pre-cancerous breast, the breast that going to get cancer, (and) the normal breast is a half a degree centigrade. The
pre-cancerous breast is a half a degree warmer. And this enables us to pick up the women who we know are at high risk
with about a 90% certainty. But the constricting things (like bras) which raise the temperature of the breast too high
are theoretically a risk factor for breast cancer. I think anything which increased the temperature of the breasts must
raise our eyebrows slightly."
Dr. Mansel -- "The fact that the breast is hotter wearing a bra may have a theoretical effect and it may be a very small
effect, so I find it very difficult to give women definite advice based on the current data."
Cawthorne -- "But not forget that the vast majority of women who come to breast clinics don't have breast cancer. And
a lot of those are suffering from pain, and perhaps don't need to suffer, simply by avoiding wearing a bra."
Narrator - Though limited, the research responses suggest the need for further studies into what the bra could be doing
to the breasts. But the general manager of Playtex does not believe that they are in a position to do that research.
John Dixey, Playtex executive -- "I don't think it's possible to actually do research into the medical side of wearing a bra
because it's not really, we're not doctors, but we certainly listen to any advice that comes across or anything associated
with wearing a bra, but categorically I could state that we've no previous knowledge of any medical problems with
anybody wearing a bra, and I think that it's just hearsay from people who are non-professional."
Narrator - Simon Cawthorne is confident that the research they have done has shown enough of a link between breast
pain and bra wearing to justify further studies.
Dr. Simon Cawthorne -- If we were to extend this study, which we intend to do, for women suffering with severe pain,
and we demonstrate a similar or even greater reduction of pain from avoiding wearing a bra, then it could have a big
difference. It could save a lot of women unnecessary visits to breast clinics, which would save the NHS a lot of time,
and also give us more time to care for the women who've got breast cancer, more serious problems. There certainly
were women for whom the simple maneuver of removing of their bra seems to have changed their lives."
Rae Marsh -- "I had no idea that for me to get rid of the pain was to get rid of wearing bras. It was a huge breakthrough."
To offset possible
damage due to wearing brassieres
Click here for our Fundamentals of Breathing Development Program
Email from a Breathing Times newsletter subscriber
Mike, thanks for the informative, thought-provoking article. Makes
sense. Also, about two years ago, an e-mail was
I just got information from a health seminar that I would like to share. The leading cause of breast cancer is the use
of anti-perspirant. What?
A concentration of toxins leads to cell mutations, a.k.a. CANCER.
Yes, ANTI-PERSPIRANT. Most of the products out there are an anti-perspirant/deodorant combination, so go home
Deodorant is fine, anti-perspirant is not. Here's why.
The human body has a few areas that it uses to purge toxins from the body -- behind the knees, behind the ears, the
groin area, and armpits. The toxins are purged in the form of perspiration.
Anti-perspirant, as the name clearly indicates, prevents you from perspiring, thereby inhibiting the body from purging
toxins from below the armpits. These toxins do not just magically disappear.
Instead, the body deposits them in the lymph nodes below the arms since it cannot sweat them out.
Nearly all breast cancer tumors occur in the upper outside quadrant of the breast area. This is precisely where the lymph
nodes are located. Additionally, men are less likely (but not completely exempt) to develop breast cancer prompted by
anti-perspirant usage because most of the anti-perspirant product is caught in their hair and is not directly applied to the skin.
Women who apply anti-perspirant right after shaving increase the risk further because having causes almost imperceptible
nicks in the skin which give the chemicals entrance into the body from the armpit area.
PLEASE pass this along to anyone you care about. Breast cancer is becoming frighteningly common. This awareness may
save lives. If you are skeptical about these findings, I urge you to do some research for yourself. You might just arrive at
the same conclusions.
Asst. Director of Sports Marketing
University of Maryland
P.O. Box 295
Cole Field House/Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20741-0295
The Antiperspirant Breast Cancer Connection
" I attended a Breast Cancer Awareness seminar put on by Terry Birk with support from Dan Sullivan. During the Q & A period, I asked why the most common area for Breast Cancer was near the arm pit. My question could not be answered at that time. This email was just sent to me, and I find it interesting that my question has been answered. I challenge you all to rethink your everyday use of a product that could ultimately lead to a terminal illness. As of today, I will change my use. A friend forwarded this to me. I showed it to a friend going through chemotherapy and she said she learned this fact in a support group recently. I wish I had known it 14 years ago. I just got information from a health seminar that I would like to share. The leading cause of breast cancer is the use of antiperspirant. What? A Concentration of toxins that leads to cell mutations: a.k.a. CANCER. Yes, ANTIPERSPIRANT. Most of the products out there are an antiperspirant/deodorant combination so go home and check your labels. Deodorant is fine, antiperspirant is not. Here's why: The human body has a few areas that it uses to purge toxins; behind the knees, behind the ears, groin area, and armpits. The toxins are purged in the form of perspiration. Antiperspirant, as the name clearly indicates, prevents you from perspiring, thereby inhibiting the body from purging toxins from below the armpits. These toxins do not just magically disappear. Instead, the body deposits them in the lymph nodes below the arms since it cannot sweat them out. Nearly all breast cancer tumors occur in the upper outside quadrant of the breast area. This is precisely where the lymph nodes are located. Additionally, men are less likely (but not completely exempt) to develop breast cancer prompted by antiperspirant usage because most of the antiperspirant product is caught in their hair and is not directly applied to the skin. Women who apply antiperspirant right after shaving increase the risk further because shaving causes almost imperceptible nicks in the skin which give the chemicals entrance in to the body from the armpit area. PLEASE pass this along to anyone you care about. Breast Cancer is becoming frighteningly common. This awareness may save lives. If you are skeptical about these findings, I urge you to do some research for yourself. You will arrive at the same conclusions,"From Mike: ANYTHING that hinders circulation is negative. The body MUST be allowed to circulate.
That is it's function. Movement and pulsation needs be at a cellular as well as a physical level.
Our Breathing Development Video Video uses straps that release
the constriction in the chest completely around the entire chest. I believe circulation (including detox)
and nutrition are the keys to optimal breast health.
Check out www.Naturalbra.com
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