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Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras Paperback – Jun 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Avery Publishing Group Inc.,U.S. (Jun. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0895296640
  • ISBN-13: 978-0895296641
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,247,562 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Author

Fibrocystic Breast Disease is "Tight Bra Syndrome"
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.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Aug. 1997
Format: Paperback
The authors have discivered that the best weapon in the fight against breast cancer is something that is absolutely free! The book clearly describes a study of almost 5000 women and it shows that the more hours per day that a woman wears a bra, the higher is her risk of breast cancer. The numbers are so overwhelming that this book demands the attention of the medical community and women everywhere. Overall, the difference between 24-hour bra-wearing (yes, many women actually do this) and being bra-free was a 125-fold difference in breast cancer rates. Even wearing them less than 12 hours per day showed an increased risk. Their scientific rationale is that bras can impair the lymphatic circulation of the breast. This causes fluid trapping (cysts), the buildup of toxins and breast damage. The swelling caused by constriction and lack of natural movement is similar to what people notice on long airplane flights when their legs and feet swell from a lack of circulation. Besides their dramatic numbers, what is also convincing is that the authors' theory explains most known risk factors for breast cancer. Looking at the real-world significance of the book, many women that I know who have read this book and tried being bra-free for a few weeks have told of dramatic improvement from breast pain and lumpiness. Years ago, many people thought that the idea of cigarettes causing lung cancer was funny. In "Dressed To Kill," Singer and Grismaijer have shown that bras are nothing to laugh about. And they have shown women that breast cancer prevention can start with a free and simple clothing choice.
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Sadly the evidence in this book has gone largely ignored and breast cancer rates are going through the roof in the UK and around the world. Whilst there are many causes, from the food we eat to the drinks we take, not to mention the so-called beauty products and deodorants; marketed to women every day; the ill fitted worn 24 hours a day bra, has a lot to answer for.

Our culture has women convinced that their breasts must be shaped like some form of rocket pointing straight from their chests, with the natural shape and movement of the breast being condemned as being 'imperfect' and 'drooping'.

This book gives the facts about women's breasts and details the harm being done to women's breast health across the world as a result of the bra and the odd belief that breasts are meant to be hoisted up high upon the chest wall and their movement restricted by ill fitted bras.

There is more in this book than that of course, but essentially it challenges the claims of the fashion and so-called beauty industries and the notion that not wearing a bra is harmful and ages a woman's breasts.

Whilst one can pick holes in the fact that a double-blind research programme has not been undertaken into the possible link into the wearing of bras and breast cancer, the real issue here is that women should not take the risk, but limit the wearing of a bra as much as possible. There is enough evidence to support that principle in my view.

This book is not anti-bra wearing, but does present evidence that all women should read and take heed of.

The evidence is there for all to read in this book, that the link between wearing bras and breast cancer cannot be ignored and is a fact!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark Brown on 24 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
An excellent book, which needs reading by all people.
There is no doubt bras can cause breast cancer, but by how much?
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 July 1998
Format: Paperback
There is certainly a reason to investigate the connection between any nearly universal behavior (such as wearing bras) and the incidence of breast cancer. Unfortunately, only a double blind study will do that, and it would have to be designed differently than these authors have done it. I wondered several things as I read: is there reason to investigate whether women who wear bras 24 hours a day have other physiological problems? Fibro-myalgia? Cramping, tenderness in the breast? That is, should we be investigating the reason women are wearing bras 24 hours a day? Do they have psychological reasons to wear them - such as a family history of breast cancer? I suspect a huge percentage of women who wear wedding rings also have breast cancer. As a survivor, I worry about women who may take off their bras and think they've protected themselves from breast cancer. If clothing can cause a genetic event (development of a cancerous cell) why don't we get bladder cancer ! from Lycra panties. Hmmm?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 39 reviews
115 of 124 people found the following review helpful
An important book 12 July 2004
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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. The high school equivalency exam requirement is set by taking the average scores of eight graders - a clear admission that we do not expect students to learn anything useful in secondary education, such as understanding the term "double-blind study."
A common theme in both osteopathy and traditional acupuncture theory is that lack of movement or stagnation is a major contributing factor in all forms of disease. The entire purpose of a bra is to restrict movement. A correlation between excessive bra wearing and disease is therefore self-evident.
I can't imagine that any of the critical reviews written to date came from MD's - I would certainly hope that sufficient training imbues a certain humility with regards to the limits of our new fledgling system of medicine in the west. Interestingly, medical schools are compelled by accreditation standards to discard textbooks older than ten years old, as they are considered dangerously out of date. No such requirement is placed on textbooks relating to Chinese medicine in acupuncure schools, as this is recognized as a more mature system, having an unbroken written record for several millenia. We would be well served to look to the east with a bit more respect and sincere attempts at understanding ancient wisdom from a modern perspective. This book is an attempt to bridge that gap in one area of medicine. It may well have flaws, but it is worth further study.
140 of 156 people found the following review helpful
AN EMOTIONAL ISSUE, BUT LISTEN UP - THEY'RE RIGHT! 8 Feb. 2004
By Theresa Welsh - Published on Amazon.com
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.
These authors are not the first to believe in a connection between bra-wearing and cancer. In 1983, I was in the hospital and the woman in the bed next to mine had cancer. She told me she got the disease from wearing a bra. Apparently, her doctor thought so. I have read of this in other sources as well. But since the cancer industry brings in Big Bucks for many institutions and individuals, this simplistic idea -- that taking off your bra will decrease your risk of getting breast cancer -- will not appeal to any of them. I found most poignant of all the authors' statement that not one of the organizations or individuals to whom they sent their research replied. This is just too emotional an issue for any of those organizations to even comment.
The authors mention that one of the reasons that's been given for wearing a bra is the belief that your breasts will get saggy over the years if you don't wear one. I heard that argument many years ago too and now I've been avoiding bras long enough to have an answer to that by looking in the mirror. Nope, they don't sag!
I won't go on a crusade to tell other women to quit wearing a bra, but I hope more women will think about why they wear one and if they find their bra uncomfortable, try taking it off. Believe me, not having anything cutting into your shoulders and mid-section is really wonderful. And it's nice to know I have been reducing my risk of breast cancer by doing what feels good.
88 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Essential reading for all women (and men, too!) 2 Dec. 2000
By David J. Huber - Published on Amazon.com
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.
However, I say this with the realization that for women like the previous reviewer who's a DD (and those bigger), that there is virtually no way for them to live comfortably without something bundling their breasts - that's just a no-win situation, unfortunately, unless someone comes up with something that is comfortable, useful, and doesn't restrict blood flow.
I do hope that women can look at and read this book with an open mind, and allow themselves to be challenged to face the real reason they wear a bra. So much bra wearing is unneeded - it's just vanity, feeling pressure from a society that thinks it's wrong to "jiggle", or feeling pressure from a society with an unhealthy idealized sense of beauty (the "perfect female figure"). Women - believe me - if your man wants you to look a certain way that requires you to bundle, tuck, pinch, pluck, or use nasty chemicals, it's time to get rid of that man because he ain't worth your time. Find someone who will respect you for being a healthy and comfortable you.
I am giving this book to some of the women in my life, and have already recommended it to women I work with, because prevention of cancer is sooooooo much better than treatment of cancer. Get away from living a lifestyle that believes "a pill will make me better" and start thinking and living in a way that says "my lifestyle can prevent me from ever needing that pill." Obviously, some people will get cancer no matter how much prevention they try, but wouldn't you rather lower your risk of cancer as much as you can? Prevention, not treatment - that's the key. Don't trust the medical industry, don't trust the pharmaceutical industry - trust your body, and trust yourself.
54 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Thank goodness someone thought of this 29 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a longtime sufferer of fibrocystic breast disease--and a very devoted bra wearer--I was thrilled to discover this book. Not wearing a bra is a frightening prospect in some ways, and I do sympathize with women even larger than I am (36C). Nevertheless, I tried the authors' suggestion to try going bra-free and within two days the shooting pains in my left breast that got me in for an emergency mammogram were gone. It is possible that the claim in the subtitle that there is a connection between bras and breast cancer is premature, but my own experience convinced me of the connection between bras, lymphatic congestion, and fibrocystic disease. For this reason alone, I think this book is well worth reading. Breast pain and tenderness, although not common symptoms of breast cancer, are still treated as possible indices of cancer, with all the anxiety that entails. If something as simple as wearing a camisole instead of a bra (and not looking as young and shapely, I'll grant you) can be an effective symptomatic treatment for this condition that is in some women precancerous, why not? It's not a substitute for medical care, cutting out alcohol and caffeine, eating a low-fat diet, and supplementing with vitamins E and A; it may, however, be a very useful adjunct.
75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
An interesting theory 6 Jun. 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A very interesting theory that needs further workup. Unfortunately, don't expect the medical establishment to spend a dime researching it. There's no money to be made from telling women to take off their bras (not in this context anyway) so there will be no research on this issue. This book is it.
The criticism that this book is not written by MDs wrings quite hollow, since MDs don't know what causes breast cancer. The medical profession continues to view cancer as a profit maker (see The Cancer Industry by Moss) and goes out of its way to persecute/prosecute anyone who would dare to cure cancer by a non-AMA approved method (see The Persecution of Gaston Naessens by Bird). The medical establishment certainly has no interest in a cancer cure that's free and doesn't require a doctor.
The criticism that ths book does not adequately account for all variables is also hilarious since there are no medical experiments in the history of mankind that do so. Real life always throws more variables at a situation than can ever be accounted for in a controlled study. Controlled studies typically only control two or three factors.
The criticism that bras can't contibute to cancer because some people need to wear bras is, at best, completely irrational. And yes, wearing tight shoes can cause numerous orthopedic and circulatory problems, so the relationship between bras and breast cancer may not be as strange as one might think.
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