Breast Fact or Fiction: Can Underwire Bras Cause Cancer?

Breast Fact or Fiction: Can Underwire Bras Cause Cancer?

There are two major reasons the myth that underwire bras cause breast cancer lives on. The first is that being overweight IS a factor in breast cancer risk and larger women may be more likely to wear bras, wear them longer and wear bras with underwires. This is an association – not a cause and effect relationship.


The second reason for this myth can be traced back to a study reported in a book called Dressed to Kill. The study proposes that underwires prevent lymph node drainage and therefore a back-up of toxins in the system. The study was flawed scientifically for several reasons, among them failing to take into account other risk factors, like family history and overall health. It has been refuted by major reputable organizations, such at the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.


The big takeaway here is: lift, separate, hang free, cover up or show off… your breast health isn’t based on your preference for undergarments. But the way you treat your overall health is. So don’t fret, just enjoy your best possible health!




Image credit: Moder plunge bra By Steifer with help of GythaOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Originally published 8/1/13 on