Recent Blog Articles


Myth busted: bra wearing not linked to breast cancer

September 9, 2014
  • By 2 Minute Medicine®

About the Author

photo of 2 Minute Medicine®

2 Minute Medicine®,

2 Minute Medicine® is an independent, physician-led medical media group that produces original, curated reports on the latest high-impact medical studies for the public, physicians and health professionals. The organization retains strong ties with top hospitals … See Full Bio
View all posts by 2 Minute Medicine®


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


Berita Kesehatan
September 24, 2014

I agree, the cancer occurs due to unhealthy lifestyle and free radicals

ertesi gün hapı
September 16, 2014

The amount of women who instantly take off their bras as soon as they get home speaks volumes about how restrictive bras are rather than helpful. It could actually be argued that a lifetime of wearing bras would weaken the muscles that would have naturally carried the weight of the bras.

September 13, 2014

Write an article about keep your boobs perky and I’ll stop wearing bras tomorrow. Until then, I NEED my bras to keep my girls in a state of perkiness and stability. Good article.

September 11, 2014

I think breast cancer concern with eating habit not about the bra.
Wearing bra for daily is ok to support our breast while activities whole day. Then, we can put off bra every time we sleep.

Jeanna Manzalaez
September 11, 2014

Bras may not lead to increased incidence of breast cancer (at this point of knowledge and understanding, considering that no real deep research has been conducted so to speak). But ask any woman and you will definitely get replies of lymphatic fluid buildup, cut off circulation. Over a long period of time there is no question that such consistent conditions could lead to issues down the track.

Womens pectoral muscles and tendons in those areas are actually sufficiently, or rather should be sufficiently developed to be able to handle the weight of the breasts. Which is a natural evolutionary structural make up. Ofcourse there will be some women with extremely large breasts or large breasts for their body size. But that does not take away from the fact that most women simply do not need bras…at all. It’s something that conventional and is done because everyone else does it. The amount of women who instantly take off their bras as soon as they get home speaks volumes about how restrictive bras are rather than helpful. It could actually be argued that a lifetime of wearing bras would weaken the muscles that would have naturally carried the weight of the bras…e.g. Imagine keeping your left arm in a sling your whole life, it’s not going to be as strong as your right.

At the end of the day, whether cancerous or not, bras can have health implications and are unneccarily for the vast majority of women who mainly wear them due to convention rather than because they need them.

One may argue that women that get negative symptoms from bras are not wearing the right size. I would also say it’s near impossible to have the right size. First of all womens breast size actually changes throughout the month in response to the fluctuations of hormones. Furthermore a bra that fits perfectly standing up, does not necessarily do so sitting down.

At the end of the day I would just like women to realise bras are not necessarily or needed, they need to be taken off their pedestal.

I would also like to add that breast tissue is mainly fat and a large quantity of lymphatic nodes. And natural movement of breasts (without bras), the bouncing one could say, would actually help to move the lymph fluid around. A point to remember here is that the lymph system relies completely on movement and muscular action for optimal drainage.

I welcome any responses, because at this point I really do believe bras are just useless for most of us.

Violeta Alonso
September 11, 2014

Thank you, you have made great points, I am glad people like you step in to create a conversation with the “experts”.
There are too many conventions in society, more than what we are sometimes aware of. How about wearing high heels, are they good for our feet, or do we take them off as soon as we are home, too tired, or not drunk enough to carry on wearing them?

About the study design, why did they not selected a group of women who regularly wore a bra against a group of women who regularly did not and then compare the proportion of cancer amongst the groups?
Perhaps they would argue that women that normally do not wear a bra might follow different lifestyle, diet, even avoiding certain conventional hygiene products as well…which could actually lead to a further study of what actually helps preventing.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

You might also be interested in…

Harvard Women's Health Watch

What’s your most important health concern? Chances are, you’ll find an article discussing it in a recent issue of Harvard Women’s Health Watch. Are you at risk for heart disease? If you eat a balanced diet, are supplements necessary? Will new drugs help prevent breast cancer? Can simple exercises like stretching and walking have a noticeable impact on my health? Subscribe now for answers to questions like these!

Read More

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.