Will you get breast cancer if you wear a bra to bed?

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According to The American Cancer Society, American Breast Cancer Society, and BreastCancer.org, (see reference links at the bottom of the page), wearing a bra, at day, night or both, will not give you breast cancer, although they have no scientific research to support their claim. In fact, there has not been any research to date that refutes the link between breast cancer and bras, and these organizations have shown no interest in pursuing this needed research. However, a Harvard study in 1991 did show bra-free women had a lower rate of breast cancer than bra wearing women. And a medical anthropological study published in 1995 suggested bras are the leading cause of breast cancer. The proposed method for bras causing breast cancer (the build up of "toxins" due to constriction) has been called implausible by the American Cancer Society, although many health care practitioners find it highly plausible. In fact, cancer and lymphatic experts advise women not to wear tight bras because it can impair lymphatic drainage from the arms and chest and cause lymphedema.

Some other factors that increase your risk of breast cancer are:
  • Sex: Women are much more likely to get breast cancer than men.
  • Age: the chances of getting breast cancer increase with age, especially after 65.
  • Race: After age 35, White women are more likely to get breast cancer than Black women, but Black women who get breast cancer are more likely to die from it.
  • Family history: certain inherited genetic mutations (BRCA1 and/or BRCA2) increase the risk. Even without those genes, having a grandmother, mother, sister, or daughter diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer also increases the risk.
  • A woman who has previously had breast, ovarian, endometrial, or colon cancer is more likely to get breast cancer.
  • A woman who has had LCIS or certain other breast conditions such as atypical hyperplasia is more likely to get breast cancer.
  • High levels of radiation to the chest area (for treatment of lymphoma, for example) can increase the risk.
  • High bone density levels after menopause can increase the risk.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding history: never having children, having a first pregnancy after age 30, and never breastfeeding each increases the risk.
  • Menstrual history: Beginning menstruation at age 12 or younger, and/or having menopause after age 55 increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • Postmenopausal obesity increases the risk.
  • History of hormone use, including contraceptives and menopausal hormone replacement increases the risk.
  • Alcohol consumption: women who drink an average of only 1 alcoholic drink per day increase their risk of breast cancer by approximately 7%.
  • Physical inactivity increases risk.
  • Exposure to tobacco smoke increases breast cancer risk.
More answers from other WikiAnswer contributors: Wearing bras to bed could cause breast cysts, pain, and cancer. It has to do with the constrictive nature of bras. Compression and constriction of the breast tissue by bras prevents the lymphatic system from cleansing the breast tissue of toxins. These toxins (some of which cause cancer) enter our bodies from our petrochemically polluted world, in our water, food, and air, and they course throughout our bodies and need to be flushed out of the tissue by the lymphatic system. Wearing a bra prevents this cleansing process, and causes the fluid in the tissue to back-up, resulting in lymph edema and associated pressure, pain, cysts, and, ultimately, cancer.

If your bra leaves red marks or indentation, then it is too tight. The longer a bra is worn, the more damage is done to the breast tissue. A study done on over 4700 US women found that women who wear their bras to bed, which means 24/7 of bra wearing, have a 75% chance of developing breast cancer. Conversely, bra-free women have the same low rates of breast cancer as men.

Bras should be worn as loosely as possible, certainly less than 12 hours daily, and never to bed. For more on this, see the book, Dressed To Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, by medical anthropologists Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer. You can also visit the authors' website at the Self Study Center link below this article.

The best thing to do is to try an experiment on yourself. Stop wearing a bra for a few weeks and see how you feel afterwards. Most women find that their breast pain and cysts go away. And it will help you prevent breast cancer, too.

The top answer is a controversial theory. Many experts believe the studies by Singer and Grismaijer to be flawed or at least inconclusive. You may want to see the short overview from Scientific American's site that is listed in the related links section below this article.

It is just fine to wear a bra to bed for fibrocystic disease or sore breasts for women who have breast pain caused by hormonal changes and also women who have 'cluster lumps' in their breasts. It's best to see a proper bra specialist for those that deal with women who have had a breast removed. These bras are made correctly (rather than buying in a retail store.) I suffer from sore breasts from hormonal changes and will wear a good bra to bed, but not always.

Cancer info can be found at cancer.org, the American cancer society web site. I do not believe wearing a bra to bed will cause breast cancer. I have been working in oncology for years and have never heard of this.

There is no complete scientific study on this and no indication that wearing a bra to bed will cause cancer. However, the one poster who mentioned 'ridges' from their bra has a point as far as comfort -- the bra is too constrictive. If you must wear a bra to bed then wear a comfortable one (not a push up bra).

We have no way of knowing if the study that suggested this is valid or not. The finding provided by Singer (the man who wrote the article and researched this idea) makes logical sense. It should at least be given a chance to be studied by several others. Preferably by those who don't get paid or funded by anyone with a something to gain from the under garment industry.

I really believe that there is an underlying problem here. I think we are so afraid of our natural bodies that we refuse to look further into this in fear of what others might think of us. Think about it! If we see someone walking down the street or at the local shopping center chances are that we can tell whether they are wearing a bra or not. And for the majority of us (Americans) will almost immediately think, "Go put a bra on!" For some reason we look down on women going without bras. We really need to stop this mentality. Every single woman on this planet has breasts. We all know what they look like, so there is no reason for us to have this stigma or look of disgust about not wearing bras. That's the first step.

The study seems to make logical sense. The numbers Singer gives is very, very significant. Do you really want to even take the risk of the study being right or wrong? Two women in my family have breast cancer (that I am aware of) and they both just happen to be two of the ones that wear their bras 24 hours a day, minus bathing, of course. Now is this just a coincidence? Who knows. But why take the chance before any serious research is done. Because all they are doing right now is dismissing the study as invalid and refusing to do real research into it.

Now, if for whatever reason you have an issue where your doctor wants you to wear your bra to bed, then you should never go against your doctor's advice, in my opinion. And I am not here to give any real answer to this question, only to propose the counter question. What does it hurt not to wear it to bed?

A different view:
This is the first I have ever heard of wearing bras to bed causing breast cancer.
I absolutely detest wearing bras but, being a D cup, I suffer considerable discomfort, and even pain, when I go two or three days in a row without wearing one, and obviously, I can't go in public without wearing one. But the thought of wearing them to bed is about as appealing as sleeping in barbed wire.

I have tried every kind, shape, and type of bra possible, even spending $80 each on custom fitted bras. I was stupid enough to buy 3 of them without even first making sure I would like them, but at least now I know the more expensive ones are just as uncomfortable as the less expensive ones.

So with it being uncomfortable and even painful when I don't wear a bra, and being very uncomfortable when I do wear them, there's not much in the way of middle ground here. I have found the sports bras to be among the more tolerable, as well as the no hook, all elastic, pull-on bras. But the best thing I have found recently is a camisole (shaped more like a tank top), which actually supports, but without the awful band that goes around you as a bra does. They are made of a spandex/lycra blend, have cups with 'modesty' pads which can be removed, and because they are made of the spandex/lycra blend, they give good support, but without bra lines. I love the support and comfort they offer, both of which are crucial to me!

As for the research on the theory that wearing bras to bed causes breast cancer, I think it's just that - no more than a theory. But it does make sense that the constriction of a bra worn 24/7 could interfere with circulation and the lymphatic system's ability to remove toxins.
88 people found this useful

Should you wear a bra to bed?

yep a double d - I like to wear one when I sleep. I have large breasts and have been wearing a bra to bed since they grew in. I find that I get less soreness this way too. --Well, it depends, if you feel comfortable in the bra and you are not getting marks on yourskin from the irritation, yes ( Full Answer )

Is it bad to wear a bra to bed?

no. I know why you would want to. It is more comfortable with a bra on to bed. it keeps your boobs in place and if you are sharing a bed you know that your husband/pertner/boyfriend cant fiddle with them!! iknowall1234 is good with answers as i get them from my answering supplier.....

Can you wear any bra to bed?

Yes, you can. Not all girls wear a bra to bed. There is an old-wives-tale that doing so will stunt the growth of your breasts, but many girls disregard this. If you are wearing a bra to bed (for comfort, support, or whatever reason you may have), try not doing one with underwire. This could irritate ( Full Answer )

Is a good to wear a bra to bed?

Your breasts are like any other body part which need to breathe. Constant bra wearing has been suggested to lead to cancer, so if you can go without the bra, do so. This may be harder for bigger breasts, as they weigh a lot .

Should you wear bra to bed?

I think that it's okay to wear a bra to bed. Its not like its bad for you in any way, its just that it my be uncomfortable when your sleeping. You could just wear a sports bra or a cloth bra. --It is okay to wear a bra to bed as long as its not tight, or an underwire bra. As there are theories this ( Full Answer )

Is it safe to wear a bra to bed?

If you wear a bra to bed you run the risk of breast cancer , I'm not quite sure how it works, but the damage from the constant pressure on the breasts can, over time, be equal to a very harmful "punch".

Is it normal to wear a bra to bed?

Of course! Why not? I WEAR BRAS IN THE BED TOO! It's not good for the breast tissue to always be in a bra 24/7 so taking it off at night is better for them.

Wearing a bra to bed?

Wearing a bra to bed isn't good for you. It isn't allowing blood to circulate everywhere it's supposed to. You should always make sure you take your bra, and underwear off before you go to bed. Undergarments aren't meant for sleeping in.

Should women wear bras to bed?

If you want to be ready in the morning, then, yeah. No if you want to take it off in the morning.

Do you get cancer if you wear a bra to bed?

In response to "getting cancer if you wear a bra to bed", scientifically proven, the answer is absolutely not. Modesty and comfort are the paramount factors here. Large breasted women may or may not wear a bra to bed, strictly regarding the comfort factor. Small breasted women consider the same ( Full Answer )

How big do your breasts have to be to wear a bra?

If you are a boy (and this is the male puberty section) and you feel that your breasts have grow big enough that they feel uncomfortable either discuss this with your doctor or your parents and see if they feel that you need to wear some form of support. However if you are a boy and you just want ( Full Answer )

Should you wear a bra if your breasts are sensitive?

If you're female, wearing a sports bra usually decreases sensitivity. It works just like an immobalizer for a broken leg. If you're male, the same thing probably goes, just be careful with your pride.

Is it bad to wear bras to bed?

no i do all the time but most people think its uncomfortable so they dont. Sports bras are meant to have support, and they are tight which are constricting around your rib cage. It is bad to wear them to bed, its bad for your ribs and breathing and in ways, linked to breast cancer. I recommend you D ( Full Answer )

Do girls wear bras to bed?

It depends on the girl. Some do not because they feel suffocated. Mostly girls do not wear, because even during the day wearing a bra hurts and the breast might swell. It gives comfort, release, openness and freshness to a girl to get out of the bra and breathe normally.

What are ways to stop wearing your bra to bed?

You take off your bra before bed and if you don't want anyone to see then slide it off after your asleep and put it under the mattress so in the morning it is right thereif you are not caring if any one see's then you take your shirt off and you bra then put your shirt back on if you are younger ju ( Full Answer )

Should you wear your bra to bed?

Probably not. It's better to let your boobs air out after being in a bra for practically the whole day. I mean your not going anywhere when you sleep so why do you need to hold them up?

Can your son with breast wear bra?

Both male and female humans have breast ... now if your "son's" are abnormally large ... putting him in a bra would never cross my mind ... just think of the psychology damage that will cause to the young man ... what i would do is get him some tight under shirts or tight tang tops ... there is a su ( Full Answer )

Is wearing a bra to bed harmful?

No, but it doesnt do anything either. I am always glad to get mine off at the end of the day. I think it allows for more comfort. Not only can it ruin your bra, but if it's tight it's bad for your ribs, breathing, and there's theories that connect it to cancer.

If you wear a bra to bed every night will you get breast cancer?

Absolutely no!!!! No body knows how comes that some people get cancer. But one thing is sure, you will not get it by wearing your bra to bed. But why do you want to slip with your bras. it is uncomfortable. After wearing it for 12 hours are you not happy to remove it for the night? But it is your ch ( Full Answer )

Does wearing a bra to bed lead to breast cancer?

No, never. Wearing a bra to bed can be more comfortable if you have large breasts. I would recommend a bra that doesn't have underwire, just for comfort sake - not because it will cause cancer.

Is there a bra that boys could wear if they have breast?

It is common to have small nodule for a boy below the nipple. Assure the boy and parents that this normal. If boy happens to develope breast due to estrogen producing tumor in adrenal cortex gland. Then operative excision has to be performed of the brest tissue. And not the bra to be advised. Which ( Full Answer )

Can sleeping in a bra give you breast cancer?

Yes especially if you move alot it is very bothering and i would really not do it but if you are young 20 and below u cant get breast cancer you get something else but still don't do it its not good

Why wear bra and how to improve your breast?

It's best if you wear a bra so ur breasts don't hurt and it keeps your breasts from sagging later in life. You can do chest pops to increase size(not really) or eat alot of protein foods, peanutbutter, ect

Does wearing a padded bra stops breast growth or leads to breast cancer?

No, it doesn't stop breast growth and most certainly doesn't lead to breast cancer. Breast size is determined by genetics before you're born and can only be significantly altered as a result of malnutrition, not from pressure to the breast tissue. Cancer originates when cells of the body mutate ( Full Answer )

Do you get breast cancer if you dont where a bra?

i think its the exact oppisite.well what i herd was that u shouldnt wear a bra to bed becuse it increases your chances of getting breast cancer.my opinion is that u should wear one for the sake of ur fellow friends and blind them. and if you do make sure to wash it so it doesnt get diseases from who ( Full Answer )

Are you supposed to wear a bra to bed or not?

No it is not advised as the wire could dig in plus if you do not swap to a different bra in the morning the bra will get dirty If you feel uncomfortable or exposed as do I then a sports bra is a substitute! Hope I helped!!!

Can bras give you breast cancer?

No its not possible, it can only cause disease pertaining to breasts such as lymph nodes and that depends on how tight the bra is and if you wear them to bed. If you wear them 24/7, then you might need a break. Simply just wear a long baggy t-shirt. Try not to wear really small bras. Go to your l ( Full Answer )

Is it wronge to wear a bra to bed?

Many people believe that is wrong to wear a bra to bed because it can cause strain on the back by wearing a bra. It can be good for the breast to have the support of the bra at night though it really is personal preference.

Does wearing a bra to bed make your breast perkier bigger or gives you breast cancer?

No, it makes to your breasts sore and sensitive by morning and if you go to bed in a tight bra every night it makes chances of you getting a lymph node higher. See the under-wire of the bra is believed to hold back the lymph fluid from draining from your breasts back to your body (as per scientist) ( Full Answer )