While debated among healthcare professionals, several doctors and researchers have suggested a link between bras (especially underwire bras) and a potential increased risk of breast cysts and cancer. The theory being that wearing a snug-fitting bra can restrict lymph flow and impede the body’s ability to remove toxins from this part of the body.
Michael Schachter, M.D., postulates that over 85% of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes and the rest to the lymph nodes near the breast bone. The nature of a bra, the tightness, the length of time worn, etc. will all influence the degree of blockage.
Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests a link between bras and their effect on melatonin levels. A group of Japanese researchers discovered, “Wearing a girdle or bra can lower your levels of melatonin by 60 percent. The hormone melatonin is intimately involved with the regulation of your sleep cycles, and numerous studies have shown that melatonin has anti-cancer activities. It’s also a powerful antioxidant, and can prevent DNA damage and bind to T-helper cells. Furthermore, researchers in Spain published a study detailing the possible use of melatonin in breast cancer prevention and “treatment.”
While the link between breast cancer and tight-fitting bras will remain a controversial topic, it can’t hurt to find a wire-free, comfortable, less tight-fitting bra option. For instance, consider the Coobie Seamless Scoop Neck Bra available at retailers such as Amazon.
Breast cancer screening options are debatable, however, as Dr. Joseph Mercola points out, since x-rays and other classes of ionizing radiation have been recognized for decades to be the cause of virtually all biological mutations, it seems clear that this is an issue worth discussing. He notes that x-rays are an established cause of genomic instability, often a characteristic of the most aggressive cancers, and that radiation risks are about four times greater for the 1 to 2 percent of women who are silent carriers of the ataxia-telangiectasia gene, which by some estimates accounts for up to 20% of all breast cancers diagnosed annually. When considering all of this, clearly reducing exposure to medical radiation (such as that associated with mammography) could reduce mortality rates.
Of additional concern is the common false-positive diagnosis, which is reportedly as high as 89%, resulting in even more exposure to radiation as they undergo second and sometimes even a third mammogram to confirm (or disprove) the results.
While many physicians continue to recommend mammograms, there are safer alternatives; the arguably safest alternative being thermography. Simply stated, it measures the radiation of infrared heat from the body and translates that into anatomical images.
Thermography uses no mechanical pressure or radiation and may detect signs of breast cancer as much as 10 years earlier than a mammogram or a physical exam. Since it is actually mapping out the body, a mass doesn’t have to be growing for years and reach a certain size before being detected (as with mammography). Thermography can detect the potential for cancer before any tumors have formed.
You can go to www.breastthermography.com and click on “Find a Center Near You” or Google “Breast Thermography Center near me” to find the nearest Breast Thermography Center.