Ridiculous Claim of the Week: Bras Can Cause Cancer
Gwyneth Paltrow, Hollywood’s biggest purveyor of nonsense has done it again, securing the most ridiculous (and arguably most infuriating) comment of the week by suggesting on her Goop website that bras can cause cancer.
In an article on her website, written by Habib Sadeghi D.O. (that’s a Doctor of osteopathic medicine, here is the link to Quackwatch about Osteopaths), he recants an old discredited study. As explained in the osteopath’s article on Goop:
The idea that bras were connected with an increase in breast cancer was first raised by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer in their 1995 book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. In the book, the authors were following up on a 1991 study conducted at Harvard University and published in the European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology. In examining breast size and breast cancer risk, the study discovered that pre-menopausal women who did not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer when compared to bra users. In conducting their own research with 5,000 women between 1991 and 1993, Singer and Grismaijer discovered that breast cancer risk dramatically increased in women who wore their bras over 12 hours per day. Their other findings included:
Women who wore their bras 24 hours/day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
Women who wore bras for more than 12 hours but not to bed had a 1 in 7 risk for breast cancer
Wearing a bra less than 12 hours per day dropped breast cancer risk to 1 in 152.
Women who never or rarely wore bras had a 1 in 168 risk for breast cancer.
Overall, women who wore their bras 24 hours per day increased their breast cancer risk by 125 times over women who rarely or never wore a bra.
Dr. Sadeghi continues …
Among those who acknowledge the bra/breast cancer risk connection, it’s widely held that a tight-fitting bra restricts the lymph nodes around the breast and underarm area, preventing toxins from being processed through them and flushed out of the body. Accumulated toxins anywhere in the body increase the risk for cancer. Dr. Michael Schacter, MD, of the Schacter Center for Complimentary Medicine, explains it this way:
“Over 85 percent of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow. The nature of the bra, the tightness, and the length of time worn, will all influence the degree of blockage of lymphatic drainage. Thus, wearing a bra might contribute to the development of breast cancer as a result of cutting off lymphatic drainage, so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast.”
Cutting to the quick, David Gorski, M.D. and breast cancer specialist explained back in 2014:
Cancer scientists immediately pointed out the massive flaws in the “study,” such as:
Lack of controlled epidemiological data correlating bra-wearing with the risk for breast cancer
Lack of proof that the pressure exerted by a bra reduces the flow of lymph
Lack of proof that lymph contains carcinogens
Lack of proof that there are carcinogens in the human body that can induce breast cancer
Existence of published data correlating obesity with post-menopausal breast cancer
Dr. Gorski’s blog post in its entirety can be enjoyed here, his detail and wit in tact, as usual.
Make no mistake about it, Paltrow and her website are dangerous to people’s health.