Will the COVID-19 Pandemic End the Breast Cancer Pandemic?

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Sydney Ross Singer
Medical Anthropologist
Director, Institute for the Study of Culturogenic Disease 


Many diseases are caused by our culture, and are reinforced by habit, custom, and unspoken social pressures. To prevent these lifestyle, or culturogenic diseases, we need to radically change our way of life. And it usually takes some cultural crisis to make this type of fundamental change possible. 

One disease which is largely culture-caused is breast cancer. The primary cultural factor causing this disease is the excessive wearing if tight bras daily. While this is an inconvenient truth for a bra-using culture which has been ignoring the harmful impacts of bras on breast health, dozens of studies internationally now confirm that bras are a leading cause of breast cancer. (For a list of references see my website https://brasandbreastcancer.org/supportive-references, and my book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, Second Edition (2018) Square One Publishers, NY.)

This means that, in order to end the breast cancer pandemic, we need to end the harmful use of bras. However, given the entrenchment of bras in modern culture, it would take an unprecedented cultural shift to allow women the opportunity to end their habit of using bras. 

Enter COVID-19. 

COVID-19 has unleashed a world of changes which are still unfolding. And one positive outcome will be a reduction in breast cancer incidence, particularly in cultures practicing lock downs and social isolation. 

As a result of staying and working at home, some women have realized that they can avoid wearing bras. Most women can’t wait to get home from work to take off their bra. Most women find bras uncomfortable. Working at home means you never need to don the darn thing in the first place. 

Media banter over this breast liberation from bras has been mostly positive, encouraging comfort over all else. See, for example, Harpers Bazaar’s article, But Will We Ever Wear Bras Again? Of course, there are still bra industry shills who continue shaming women for being natural. But women can feel the difference for themselves while being bra-free, in the comfort of their own homes. Which means the bra industry is in trouble. 

Women have been trending away from the bra for the past several years, and new laws have made it clear that women cannot be forced to wear bras at work. See the article, Bra-Free at Work: Ending Sexist and Illegal Dress Codes. For women working at home due to COVID, there is even less pressure to wear bras. 

This means the incidence of breast pain, cysts, and cancer will decline since bra usage is the leading cause of all of these problems. 

The problem with bras is that they are designed to change breast shape for fashion reasons, and this requires constant tension and pressure from the bra. This pressure impairs the lymphatic circulation in the breasts, which is the circulatory pathway of the immune system. This causes lymph stasis and chronic breast lymphedema, and prevents effective immune defense against developing cancer cells. It also prevents the effective cleansing of the breasts of cellular waste, debris, chemical toxins, and the damage caused by trauma and radiation (such as mammograms). See the article, How Bras Cause Lymph Stasis and Breast Cancer

Essentially, tight bras worn for long periods of time daily cause chronic lymphedema and toxin accumulation in the breasts, with resulting pain and cysts. Over time, this can lead to cancer. In fact, from our research, bra-free women have about the same risk of breast cancer as men, while the longer and tighter the bra is worn the higher the risk rises, to over 100 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to a bra-free woman. 

Note that if a bra leaves marks or indentations in the skin, then it is too tight and is causing damage. 

Given these harms caused by bras, what will women experience during their social isolation as they stop wearing bras? The answer is improved breast health and reduced cancer risk. 

We now have preliminary results from the ongoing International Bra-Free Study, which we have been conducting since 2018. The study is online and currently involves over 1000 women, from over 36 countries, who have stopped wearing bras and are reporting their experiences. We have reported on these amazing results in our report, Bras Cause More Than Breast Cancer: Preliminary Results of the International Bra-Free Study. Here are some key point

Women who had been experiencing breast pain and cysts found complete or near-complete recovery within a month of being bra-free. 

Virtually every woman who stopped wearing bras reported that she can breathe easier without a bra. Clearly, having a tight band around the chest restricts rib expansion and movement. This means being bra-free can help if anyone develops a respiratory problem, even from COVID-19. 

Some women reported improved digestion without a bra. Others reported improved menstrual cycle regularity. 

Many women reported that their breasts lifted and toned after ending bra usage. Once the breasts are free from bras, the natural suspensory ligaments are allowed to bear weight and regain strength. Ligaments weaken under artificial support. This means that bras actually cause breasts to droop and breast ligaments to weaken. Becoming bra-free can reverse this, especially in pre-menopuasal women. 

Large-breasted women reported that their back and neck pain were gone once they stopped wearing bras. Lifting large, heavy breasts with a bra causes harmful pressure to the shoulders, and creates deep shoulder grooves. This pressure impinges on nerves leading to numbness, tingling and pain in the hands. 

Most importantly, the women in this study are expected, over the years, to have reduced breast cancer incidence. We also expect that the millions of women who are currently bra-free at home will also experience this reduction in breast cancer risk. 

This means that we should expect a profound drop in new breast cancer cases over the next decade, as women become free of the bra. 

Each year, breast cancer kills between 40,000 and 50,000 women in the U.S. alone. Over 250,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Add to that hundreds of millions of women worldwide who suffer from breast pain and cysts due to tight bras, and the human toll of this sexist/fetish garment will be more apparent. Add to that the reduced breathing, discomfort, insecurities, and shaming that go along with the bra culture, and it makes you wonder why bras haven’t been trash-canned long ago. 

Sometimes it takes just one drastic change in culture to allow other parts of the culture to change, too. In this case, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting social isolation and quarantines, could mark the beginning of the end of the breast cancer pandemic. 




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