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Bra Burners Take Two

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Here’s some news you can use: if you’re a woman and you want to lower your risk of breast cancer, stop wearing your bra. You can read all about it at Brafree.org, run by Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan, age 48, a bonafide Bra-free doctor. The research on this issue is fairly extensive, although Dr. Vaughan notes that no MD will tell you there’s a scientifically proven link between wearing bras and breast cancer. Then again, no MD would tell you there was a link between smoking and cancer for most of the past century.

I always suspected there was something wrong with wearing this wiry thing that shoved your breast tissue into uncomfortable positions. I started wearing sports bras after I became a mother because I found they gave me the easiest access to the goods for my little one. But after reading about how bras may be part of the problem, I’m ready to join the braless brigade. I feel sorry for women whose breasts are so large that this does not seem like an option.

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About Kiersten Marek

  • http://www.planethuff.com/dana/ Dana Huff

    I read through her website. I must admit I am extremely skeptical of her views. Doesn’t look like any serious research is being done on her thesis: http://www.komen.org/intradoc-cgi/idc_cgi_isapi.dll?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&ssDocName=3-8-1#riskfactors

    Hmm… http://blogcritics.org/archives/2004/10/13/222414.php

    Please understand, I don’t mean any disrespect to you as the writer of this entry. My criticism is directed at her. I just don’t think the analogy she makes regarding tobacco and lung cancer is a valid comparison. To be frank, she doesn’t help her credibility by posing suggestively (without her bra) over most of the site!

  • http://www.kmareka.com Kiersten Marek

    Dana, Thanks for commenting! I finally managed to post something that someone (besides Eric) commented on.

    I think Dr. Vaughan’s proposal needs to be viewed with skepticism, but I view all opinions with skepticism. The truth is that I want to find out if it is true that without a bra, you breasts will develop more muscularity as she asserts somewhere in the text of braless.org. I also think her opinions are based on common sense, and I like that. Anything that decreases proper circulation in your body (like a hard wire pressing into your flesh) is likely to be related to health problems. It also makes sense to me that the pressure on the area around the lymph nodes may be an issue with extra tight, body-molding bras.

    The suggestively posed pictures of Dr. Vaughan on her website — all I can say is, to each her own. Sometimes when people work out and care (and love) their own bodies, they want to show them off. I don’t have a problem with that.

  • http://macaronies.blogspot.com Mac Diva

    Kiersten, wouldn’t it already be known if bralessness made a difference? Most women in the Second and Third Worlds don’t wear them. I will say there are some damn uncomfortable bras. Underwire can literally stab you.

  • http://kmareka.com Kiersten Marek

    Hi Mac Diva,

    There has been some research on the issue, particularly in two books, one called Dressed to Kill and another called Get It Off, showing how the lymph drainage may be impeded by constricting bras. Also, here is a good summary of the overall breast cancer picture: http://www.healthy.net/scr/Article.asp?Id=533
    The evidence about the bra and breast cancer connection is insufficient to be considered causal. But science has ignored women for most of the past 100 years in their research trials, so unfortunately we do not have enough studies yet to know more about this issue. Instead, large grant awards go to studying trials of Tamoxifen, which are beneficial, but they are only part of the picture, and they are an example of the extreme medicalization of prevention. Instead of prevention being your doctor advising you to eat less fat, exercise regularly, drink less alcohol, and wear a bra as infrequently as possible, prevention in the US tends to be largely about giving you a pill.

  • http://www.planethuff.com/dana/ Dana Huff

    Actually, there are some good studies that point to a link between diet and cancer risk. Asian women tend to have a low incidence of breast cancer; however, Asian-American women who eat the high-fat diet of other Americans tend to have a higher risk of breast cancer. If women in third world countries don’t have cancer, I’d say a more likely reason is their diet. They certainly don’t prove the good doctor’s point that breasts will maintain elasticity!

  • http://www.targetwoman.com/articles/breast-cancer.html Lisha

    An introduction to the breast cancer section, this article sums up the essence of the content that will be
    explained at length in the course of the articles.

  • Tristan

    There is also a very real connection between breast cancer and most commercial deodorants—almost all of which contain a form of aluminum as an ingredient–the metal forming a “shield” to keep the nasty body odor smell from being released….

    the smell of body odor is a result of a simple yet complex process:
    all the things we imbibe–food/drink–that cannot be transformed into useful nutrients for the body (which these days is MOST of what we inbibe…) —is turned by the body into lymph—which is basically our body’s sewage system. The lymphatic system parallels our circulatory system–the major difference in the two being that the blood system has a “pump” (the Heart)—whereas the lymphatic system has no “pump” and relies on one of two ways for movement of the lymph: either through movement / exercise (which is one of the main reasons why exercise is CRITICAL for health —or on some form of “manual” lymphatic drainage –such as massage or such….

    IF the lymph is NOT moved–either through exercise movement or massage, etc., it sits and stagnates; and remember–this is the body’s “sewage”—as it sits longer and longer–it creates very “bad” byproducts–one of the 1st being toxic bacterias. These wastes try to leave the body through various excretory points….some of the most MAJOR and biggest being in the areas of out armpits and near the CHEST regions—-
    these bacterias / toxins then come out through what we cakk “SWEAT” —! When we use these commercial deodorants with their metal aluminum “shields” to stop the sweat from coming—-these toxins then are backed up and guess where they are right next to: that’s right—our BREASTS !!!! DUH !!!!

    Cut to the “CHASE”:

    there is a very effective deodorant sold at almost every health food store called the Thai rock crystal-which comes either as a rock-like form or now in a pump spray dispenser. This is simply a sea salt which has a natural bacteria-destroying ability. This very effective sea salt crystal deodorant actually kills the bacteria released through out armpits/sweat with no toxic effect or “BACKUP” problem… (the bacteria leaving the armpit sweat pores is what causes the body odor…)))

    So please try to use this rock crystal sea salt deodorant to help eliminate breast cancers …!!!!

  • john smith

    hey, thanks for the article. anything to get women to go braless is welcomed by the male community 😉

  • Nancy

    Almost all bras are, like women’s shoes, designed by men who, needless to say, do not have women’s bodies. As some of the shoe styles recently demonstrate amply, these guys are either sadists or real sick-o’s. IMO that goes ditto for women’s undergarment designers. Even after a century of bar design, they STILL can’t get the angle of bra straps right, so that the damned things slide off the shoulders as often as not; they use scratchy, uncomfortable, but “sexy” laces or fabrics on the fancier models, and whoever invented the underwire was a real misogynist. I wear soft leisure bras; for me, they’re far more comfortable than going braless, and for most of us, I’d guess going braless would be a lot less aesthetic, too. Nothing as sexy as droopy boobs, hey, John Smith?

  • kristina

    my sister got an email once showing a video of women in south america and africa who hang their clothes in the sun-and it doesn’t dry all the way. As a result, metal started growing out of their breasts-it is sooooooooo nasty! Their were holes in the women’s breast!!!

  • Laura

    i think’s she’s slightly correct. but i don’t think that the comparison that she made about smoking and lung cancer and it doesn’t make alot of sense. i mean tobacco has been proven to cause lung cancer and it makes sense that it would, putting all those chemicals in your lungs. a bra just makes you look more cleaned up, it doesn’t entirely make sense that it would cause breast cancer. if you think about though, using common sense you would think that a bra would cause breast cancer. i don’t know! maybe just don’t wear a super tight bra or something! i’m right down the middle with this…

  • Catey

    You could tie ’em in a knot, You could tie ’em in a bow, if your (ears) hang low…