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Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras Paperback – March 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Singer and Grismaijer have collected striking (but preliminary) evidence that bra-wearing may be a major risk factor associated with breast cancer: women who wear tight-fitting bras 24 hours a day are 125 times more likely to have breast cancer than women who do not wear bras at all. Their interpretation is that tight clothing inhibits the proper functioning of the lymphatic system (an internal network of vessels and nodes that flushes wastes from the body) and leads to a buildup of carcinogenic compounds in the constricted areas.

Although it must be emphasized that their studies are preliminary, still controversial, and definitely need to be followed up with detailed analyses of correlative factors (do these women have higher rates of smoking? do they have less-healthy diets?), this book should be read by anyone concerned about breast cancer. Possibly a very important book that could save many lives.

From the Publisher

When Soma and I did our research for Dressed To Kill we were not aware of how easily women can recover from fibrocystic breast disease by foregoing the bra. Bras, by their very design, alter the shape of the breasts for fashion. To alter breast shape you have to apply constant pressure on the breast tissue. That is why bras are elastic garments. This pressure from the bra impedes the circulation in the breast tissue, specifically, the circulation of the lymphatic system. This system is composed of microscopic vessels that originate in the breast tissue and drain the tissue of fluid, which is directed through these vessels to the lymph nodes. The lymphatic vessels are extremely thin and small, and have no pump, such as the heart, to propel its contents forward. As a result, lymphatic vessels are easily constricted by external pressure, such as that applied to the breast tissue constantly by the brassiere. It is compression of these lymph vessels that prevents the proper draining of the breast tissue, leading to fluid accumulation in the breast. Medically, this is called lymphedema of the breast, secondary to constriction from the bra. This fluid accumulation leads to breast tenderness and pain, and ultimately the fluid develops into cysts. The cysts over time become hard, and we have a picture of the creation of fibrocystic breast disease. Within days or weeks of ending breast constriction by bras, the breast tissue is allowed to flush out this excess fluid, cysts disappear, and breast pain and tenderness are minimal if at all present. From our research with hundreds of women, getting rid of the bra has resulted in remarkable recovery of breast health in over 95% of the cases. Since foregoing the bra for a month is cost-free and risk-free, and may prove beneficial, we encourage all women who wear bras to partake in a self-study to see for themselves, on themselves, whether their bras have been damaging their breasts. Keep in mind that breast disease is only a problem in bra wearing cultures. Women who are bra-free have the same breast cancer incidence as men. And don't wait for the cancer detection and treatment industry to endorse this information before you try it. Billions of dollars are made each year treating breast cancer. Nobody will make money by women loosening up to prevent this disease. The prevention of breast disease is up to each individual woman. Just stop binding the breasts with bras in the name of fashion, and begin to love yourself and respect your body. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Publishing Group (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895296640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895296641
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,006,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 126 people found the following review helpful By Kaimiloa on July 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been working as a physician, combining acupuncture and ostepathic manipulation for many years. Stagnation is a major cause of disease in many areas of health and breast health is no exception. There is a strong negative correlation between bra wearing and breast health. Certainly in some social situations, modesty dictates that a bra be worn at certain times. But going braless when possible contributes to both breast health and firmness.
Without meaning to deny the genuine discomfort of the more generously endowed women who have written in, comfort is NOT related to size. Not being able to go braless indicates a situation of restriction and stagnation in the breast. Many "large" women find that this pain goes away after a few days simply by going braless. In other cases, acupuncture and herbal therapy, and/or manual lymph drainage may be required to address the painful stagnation before going braless at home is comfortable. Of course, wearing exercise bras during exercise is appropriate for many if not most women.
The double-blind study is the gold standard of western medicine, but common sense dictates that this standard is only applicable to drug therapy studies. To suggest that such a study is appropriate to assess this validity of the author's claims about breast cancer is ludicrous. How could you possibly design a study where neither the patient nor the doctor knew which patients were wearing a bra? I haven't met a women yet who can't reliably answer the question "Are you wearing a bra?" This sort of criticism cannot possibly be motivated by legitimate questions of scientific merit, so personal issues around sexuality are the prime suspect.
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142 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Theresa Welsh on February 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's obvious from the reviews here that this book brings out strong emotion in readers. They either see it as a life saver or are furious at the authors for suggesting a connection between wearing a bra and getting breast cancer. While I agree with the people who say the book makes sense, I'd also like to add that for me it was great to see something posItive in print about going braless. Personally, I have always hated wearing a bra and the first thing I do when I get home from work is to take off my bra. On days when I am home all day, I don't wear one. I put one on when I'm wearing clothes that would make it too obvious that there was no bra underneath if I didn't wear one, but I also heavily avoid such clothing. I do not do this because I'm trying to avoid cancer, but because bras are uncomfortable and (in my estimation) they serve no purpose.
The problem for me in more than 30 years of trying to avoid wearing a bra is the many conflicting ways other people interpret my behavior. In my younger years, my husband used to call it "the no-bra look" and that always made me angry. I would reply that it is not "a look" -- I am not trying to "look" like anything, I am merely trying to be comfortable. If I sometimes "jiggle' that can be interpreted as some kind of moral evil. Why? Are breasts evil? You might think so if you consider the fuss made over Janet Jackson's breast at the 2004 Super Bowl! To other people I suppose I just look like an uneducated slob -- after all, where do you see women without bras? In poor countries, in the pages of National Geographic magazine. Don't "civilized" women all wear bras? The authors point out that the bra is a fairly recent invention. For thousands of years of history, women got by without wearing bras.
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90 of 103 people found the following review helpful By David J. Huber VINE VOICE on December 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wow! What a great book. A mostly well-reasoned hypothesis that wearing bras leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. It is very difficult to dispute the findings of the authors' study, although as other reviewers have pointed out, their study was not as rigorous or variable-eliminating as it should have been (thus I can give this only four stars). Of course many people will discount their findings because 1) medical professionals are addicted to using drugs to cure a problem (in this case cancer) instead of finding ways to prevent the problem, 2) medical professonals are addicted to the thought that only they have the "answer" because they're "qualified", 3) pharmaceutical companies want people to "cure" themselves through medication and not through prevention or alternative treatments, because every person who gets cancer increases shareholder value, 4) the U.S. still has that bizarre puritanical unhealthy attitude toward sex that requires women to bundle up their breasts so they don't jiggle in a provocative way (do you remember the big bra thing of the 60s? The argument against going braless was a moral argument, not a scientific or aesthetic argument - "it's just plain wrong not to wear a bra") so even though that bundling is obviously unhealthy, people will still require it of their women (just like tight pants, high heels, and earth-and-human-killing hair treatments, cosmetics, and perfume), 5) the manufacturers of bras spend an awful lot of money to make sure that women think they **have** to wear a bra, because only bra-wearers increase shareholder value.Read more ›
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