Somewhere beween the year 2000 and 2005 (I think), I read an article in Dr. David Williams' newsletter about brassiers causing breast cancer.  The statistics are said to be slightly stronger than the statistics which correlate smoking and lung cancer.  The article referred to a book called Dressed to Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras, by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer.  The book detailed a large study the authors did on the correlation between bra wearing habits and breast cancer.

The statistics in the book were very, very convincing.  In their survey, women who did not wear bras, or who wore them very little, had a very small breast cancer risk.  Women who wore bras 24 hours a day had a very high risk.  The charts are below.

As you can see, women who did not wear bras had a one chance in 168 of getting breast cancer.  Women who wore bras all day, taking them off only to sleep (the majority of women) had a one in seven chance of getting the disease.

There is a new edition of their book out, published in 2014, which I have not read.  But the first edition was enough to convince me.

Some hints: 

  1. Western shirts often have two, very conveniently placed pockets.
  2. A short vest, cut from an old polo shirt, works well under thin or tight clothing to hide your nipples.
  3. Wearing a bra regularly does not make your breasts naturally higher or firmer. 
  4.  Wearing a bra regularly does not decrease pain in the breasts.  On the contrary, women who wear bras have more cysts and miscellaneous non-cancerous lumps, in addition to more cancer.

The mechanism behind the correlation is speculated to be restriction of lymph flow by the bra.  Lymph generally travels just below the skin, and drains toxins and metabolic waste products from the surrounding tissue. 

Other factors which protect against breast cancer are:

  1. Regular exercise
  2. Breast feeding your children
  3. Maintaining a healthy weight
  4. Eating a low-carb diet
  5. Eating brightly colored fruits and vegetables