Bras and Breast Cancer

Bras are not just for fashion but for health. Did you know that the weight of the breast pulling on the neck can cause diminished blood flow to the head causing migraine headaches? The effect of the weight and gravity will also effect your posture and can cause backache. When you try to lift the weight of breast by shortening your bra straps, you either have the problem of your bra riding up your back or painful grooves in your shoulders. Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has also been connected with the inadequate support given by conventional bras. Without proper support the tiny ligaments and vessels of the breast will continue to sag as the law of gravity takes its toll. This is not healthy as the proper blood flow to the breast area is now being blocked and the tissue under the arm is now being bumped and battered with your movement.

The breast can be compared to a rubber band. The more weight that is attached to it, the further the rubber band will stretch. (See graphic illustration) Over time the rubber band will get thinner. The breast ligaments are similar to a rubber band.

By supporting your breast and taking the weight off those ligaments, you may see the breast begin to adhere back to the chest wall. In addition the tissue that has been misplaced will get the proper blood flow to rebuild. A small busted woman needs just as much support as a large busted woman. She will often wear a padded bra that gives her a false front, but also flattens and spreads her breast tissue over her chest wall and impedes circulation through the tissue. Often glandular tissue is cut off from the main tissue mass inside the bra. The separation of the breast can cause mastitis or other health problems during pregnancy or lactation. There is little or no support for the tissue.

One important reason for not wearing a constricting bra with underwires especially to bed, is it prevents normal lymphatic flow and can lead to anoxia (lower than normal oxygen content); much the way your feet and ankles can swell when you sit for a long time. This has been related to fibrosis, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Likewise women who exercise have a lower risk of cancer.

There are many variables that can contribute to breast cancer including diet, exercise, environment, and heredity. Every woman should at the very least make sure to give herself a monthly breast self–examination checking for lumps and/or soreness. Mammograms have been shown to lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 35% in women over the age of 50; studies suggest for women between 40 and 50 they may lower the risk of dying from breast cancer by 25–35%. Leading experts, the Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American College of Radiology now recommend annual mammograms for women over 40.

Many women do not avail themselves of a mammogram out of fear. Not all lumps are cancer, and clearly the best defense is still early detection.

Benign Lumps – Noncancerous Lumps

Any noticeable change, thickening or localized swelling in you breast that was not there before may be a lump. Most breast lumps are benign and most women will experience a benign lump sometime in their lives.

Fibrocystic Disease

Fibrocystic Disease is the most common cause of breast lumps in women between the ages of 35 to 50. The condition is associated with the mammary glands, ducts and fibrous tissue reacting to normal hormonal changes. Usually as a result of multiple pockets of fluids known as sacs or cysts develop and increase in fibrous tissue may form resulting in lumps. Tenderness and lumps size commonly increase before her monthly menstrual cycle.

Simple Cysts

Are either single or multiple fluid sac. Tenderness and lump sizes often fluctuate with the menstrual cycle.


Fibroadenoma is a solid tumor composed of fibrous and glandular tissue. It occurs most frequently in women between 18 to 35. The lump is generally movable when felt, and while it is not usually tender, premenstrual tenderness can occur. Nearly all tumors in women under 25 are fibroadenomas.


Papillomas are small growths in the lining of a mammary duct near the nipple which can produce a clear or bloody discharge from the nipple.

Other Conditions

Other Conditions include Abcess or infection of the breast, occurs when bacteria enter the mammary ducts through the nipple. Localized pocks of infections appear as tender, warm lumps. Trauma or injury to the breast may result in blood accumulation or destruction of the fatty tissue. Both conditions can appear as a lump.

Mammograms Facts

More Information

Suzanne is available by appointment to appear and speak about the importance of breast care and obtaining a properly fitted garment with support. Training Sessions are also available. You will not only know how to fit a Suzanne™ bra, but all types of bras, including mastectomy bras. You will walk away the the confidence of knowing what, where and how! Just remember, you can spend $50 for a pair of shoes and $5 for a bra, but how many cases of foot cancer have you heard about lately??

For more information and scheduling an event please contact Suzanne

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