The National Cancer Institute has funded a study by the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to look into the
bra-cancer link in order to refute research showing this
link is responsible for a majority of breast cancer cases.
The research did not include bra-free women or women under
55. The authors ignored a 2008 China study, a 2011 Venezuela
study, and a 2014 Scottish study all showing a significant
bra-cancer connection. Instead, it mentioned the results of
a 1991 Harvard study, which found over 100% higher breast
cancer rates in younger women who wore bras compared to
bra-free women, but called that study “flawed”.
Instead of studying younger women, this study focused on
only women over 55, and only women who wore bras.
They found that the time a bra was worn daily did not differ
between the cancer group and non-cancer group. They
concluded that women should be “reassured” that bras are not
causing breast cancer.
Actually, this study supports the bra-cancer link, since all
the women in the cancer group were lifetime bra wearers. In
addition, the study is useless since none of the women were
bra-free, so it lacks a proper control for examining bra
wearing impacts. No bra-free baseline. They also did not
look at bra tightness, which is a major factor in the
bra-cancer link, which is about tight bras causing lymphatic
What this Study Shows
All this study really shows is that some women who have worn
bras for 40 years or longer will get breast cancer and some
will not. We already knew that. You can say the same thing
about smokers and lung cancer.
Amazingly, this limited and flawed research was announced in
newspapers around the world, declaring that bras are safe,
and that the issue has now been settled. Not one of the
reporters bothered to contact me for comment, despite
referring to me and my research in their stories.
It’s clear that this was not just a poorly designed study.
This was a public relations hatchet job trying to silence
the truth about the bra-cancer link.
There is also evidence of a hidden agenda. The study said
there were no reported conflicts of interest, but did not
mention that The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
receives money annually from a
“Bra Dash” fundraiser, where pink bras are worn on the
outside of clothing during a 5K race to raise breast cancer
It would be very ironic to criticize bras for causing cancer
when they are used to raise funds for cancer research.
The fact that this poorly designed study without proper
controls is used to conclude that there is no bra-cancer
link also reveals a bias. The authors should have called for
And Here is Another Problem
Can we expect honest, reliable research when there is so
much money and reputation at stake? The lingerie and cancer
treatment industries are very powerful, making
multi-billions of dollars annually.
And since cancer “experts” at the American Cancer Society,
Susan G. Komen, and National Cancer Institute have been
denying for years that there is any bra-cancer link, how can
a study come out proving them wrong? What would be the
reaction of the public to news that 20 years of cancer
industry denial of a link between bras and breast cancer has
been wrong, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lives
They need to stick to their lie.
How Do You Perpetuate a Lie?
Of course, as the bra-cancer link gains increasing public
awareness, there are bound to be studies trying to refute
it. There are also studies that try to refute the
cigarette-cancer link. So I take all this as a good sign of
progress, since it brings the topic into mainstream
consciousness, and these attempts at denial are expected.
In a way, this new study and the media’s swift acceptance of
it was like a bail-out. Facing growing awareness of the
bra-cancer link and increasing numbers of women ditching
their bras, the government stepped in with a grant for a
hatchet job of the issue. The media complied by distributing
biased, unbalanced announcements of the findings.
It was as though the mainstream culture collectively went
into denial, saving the bra and all it culturally
represents, reaffirming its belief in the cancer industry,
and helping the lingerie industry.
The alternative would be a transformation of women’s dress
behavior and body image and health, class action lawsuits
against the lingerie industry, and severe ridicule and
possible malfeasance suits against the cancer industry. It
would bankrupt our cultural trust in industry, fashion, and
It seems Big B and Big C are too big to fail.
Studies that Support the Bra/Cancer Link
1991 Harvard study (CC Hsieh, D Trichopoulos (1991).
Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. European
Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology 27(2):131-135.).
This study found that, “Premenopausal women who do not
wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared
with bra users…”
1991-93 U.S. Bra and Breast Cancer Study by Singer and
Grismaijer, published in Dressed
To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras (Avery/Penguin
Putnam, 1995; ISCD Press, 2005). Found that bra-free
women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as
men. 24/7 bra wearing increases incidence over 100 times
that of a bra-free woman.
Singer and Grismaijer did a follow-up study in Fiji,
published in Get
It Off! (ISCD Press, 2000). Found 24 case histories
of breast cancer in a culture where half the women are
bra-free. The women getting breast cancer were all
wearing bras. Given women with the same genetics and
diet and living in the same village, the ones getting
breast disease were the ones wearing bras for work.
A 2009 Chinese study (Zhang AQ, Xia JH, Wang Q, Li WP,
Xu J, Chen ZY, Yang JM (2009). [Risk factors of breast
cancer in women in Guangdong and the countermeasures].
In Chinese. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2009
Jul;29(7):1451-3.) found that NOT sleeping in a bra was
protective against breast cancer, lowering the risk 60%.
2011 a study was published, in Spanish, confirming that
bras are causing breast disease and cancer. http://www.portalesmedicos.com/publicaciones/articles/3691/1/Patologias-mamarias-generadas-por-el-uso-sostenido-y-seleccion-incorrecta-del-brassier-en-pacientes-que-acuden-a-la-consulta-de-mastologia- It
found that underwired and push-up bras are the most
harmful, but any bra that leaves red marks or
indentations may cause disease.
A 2014 Scottish study looking in the causes of increased
upper outer quadrant breast cancer concluded that tight
bras are a major contributing factor. http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/bras-linked-to-rise-in-breast-cancer-1-3422526
A 2014 study out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research
Center found that all the women in their bra and breast
cancer study were lifetime bra wearers, confirming the