Just when I think I've heard it all, along comes a new wacky theory of disease causation. The claim is that bras cause breast cancer. I can see the appeal. The claim unites a number of axioms of alternative health: cancer is caused by toxins; cancer is preventable by simple things you can do at home; anything "unnatural" is bad for you.
How are these axioms combined to create the claim that bras cause breast cancer? According to the alternative health website Health & Beyond:
"Bras cause breast cancer. It's open and shut," says medical researcher Syd Singer...Amazingly enough, the Singers figure it out without doing ANY research! Aren't they smart?
The Singers became breast cancer sleuths in 1991 [when] Soma discovered a lump in her breast ...
Could bras be constricting breast tissue, Syd wondered, hampering lymph drainage and causing degeneration?
The World Health Organization calls chemical toxins the primary cause of cancer. But poisons accumulating in breast tissue are normally flushed by clear lymph fluid into large clusters of lymph nodes nestling in the armpits and upper chest. The Singers found that "because lymphatic vessels are very thin, they are extremely sensitive to pressure and are easily compressed." Chronic minimal pressure on the breasts can cause lymph valves and vessels to close.The Singers rushed to share their insights with major organizations, but they were ignored! Why? Could it have been because their theory is stupid, lacking proof, and in conflict with what we know about lymphatic drainage? Not according to the Singers. It's a conspiracy!!!
"Less oxygen and fewer nutrients are delivered to the cells, while waste products are not flushed away," the Singers noted. After 15 or 20 years of bra-constricted lymph drainage, cancer can result.
Well aware that their findings were "explosive," the Singers sent their survey results to the heads of America's most prestigious cancer organizations and institutes. None responded. Like the cancer business, the bra business is huge. Multiply how many worldwide women buy several $25 bras every year and you end up with a multiple of the $6 billion-a-year US bra business.Big Bra is hiding information to protect their sales! Who knew?
Of course, the Singers theory is nonsensical. When lymph drainage is impeded, the area swells up, often quite dramatically. For example, women who have had lymph nodes removed as part of breast cancer treatment often experience marked painful swelling in the arm on that side. No woman wears a bra that is tight enough to cause her breasts to swell markedly (although some would surely choose to do so if there were such a bra). There is no evidence that "toxins" accumulate in the breasts or that "toxins" are drained by way of the lymphatic system. And there's no scientific evidence that anyone who experiences lymphedema (the medical term for swelling caused by impaired lymph drainage) in any part of the body has an increased risk of cancer in that body part.
The Singers are not bothered by such details. They've proven the theory to their own satisfaction. After discovering a breast lump, Soma stopped wearing her bra:
"Going bra-less for all occasions, Soma began dressing to de-emphasize her breasts. She also began regular breast massage and bicycle riding, vitamin and herbal supplementation, and drinking only purified water.
Two months later, her lump disappeared."
Well, if that isn't proof, what is?
Of course, the vast majority of breast lumps are not cancer, many are cysts, and a large proportion disappear spontaneously in three months, just like in Soma's case. So what? The Singers "know" that Big Bra is concealing more than breasts. They "know" that bras cause breast cancer, and they know that Big Bra is engaged in a cover up of this important information.
What should you do? The Singers believe that you should not wear a bra, but they have kindly offered this helpful information for women who continue to trap "toxins" in their breasts:
Don't wear this disastrous device to sleep. Take it off at home. Massage your breasts every time you remove your bra. Sing your lymphatics into health -- or at least breathe deeply.Words to live by!