Actress Gwyneth Paltrow's blog Goop recently posted an article that suggests underwire bras could contribute to breast cancer; a theory that was discredited sometime ago.
Dr. Habib Sadeghi, who wrote the Goop posting "Could There Possibly Be a Link Between Underwire Bras and Breast Cancer??", cites a 1995 book "Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras" by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaije as possible, but not conclusive, evidence.
The American Cancer Society noted this claim appeared in a viral email based on the book, but refuted it: "There are no scientifically valid studies that show wearing bras of any type causes breast cancer."
"The email appears to be based on the writings of a husband and wife team of medical anthropologists who link breast cancer to wearing a bra. The two anthropologists suggested this association in a book called Dressed to Kill."
Sadeghi wrote on Goop: "The original suspicions still hold true today."
The original suspicions were that a bra could restrict lymph nodes in the breast and underarm area, which would supposedly prevent the lymphatic system from processing and washing toxins out of the breasts (and body), notes The Huffington Post.
Sadeghi also cites Dr. Michael Schacter, as a source. However, Schacter is listed as a psychiatrist on WebMD.com. Lymph node disorders are normally treated by a hematologist/oncologist.
Sadeghi also cites studies in China, Venezuela and Scotland.
However, the American Cancer Society states: "We do not know of any epidemiologic studies published in scientific journals that suggest bras directly contribute to breast cancer risk or that lymphatic compression by bras might cause breast cancer."
Sadeghi mentions the possible dangers of increased temperatures in the breasts caused by bras: "Temperature changes in the breast can alter hormone function and raise the risk of breast cancer, which is hormone dependent."
Sadeghi adds, "In recent years, yet another cancer-related concern has been raised about bras, particularly those with an underwire and their ability to magnify and sustain electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) and radiation from things like cell phones and Wi-Fi. While the fact that your bra could absorb and intensify radiation seems preposterous, it’s not as far-fetched as it sounds."
Sadeghi concludes that women should limit bra-wearing time, avoid bras with underwires and avoid carrying cell phones in bras, breast pockets or pants pockets. Sadeghi also advises not wearing a bra to bed or using Wi-Fi: "The whole family will be healthier for it."
Dr. Jennifer Gunter, an OB-GYN in San Francisco, told The Huffington Post via email:
Breast cancer is a complex condition that involves genetics and a variety of risk factors, the most common ones being obesity, dense breasts, alcohol consumption, if and when (age) a woman gives birth, taking estrogen, and a history of radiation exposure.
None of these things are related to bras except obesity, which gives larger breasts and hence increases likelihood of wearing a bra.
This stuff scares women. When people have cancer they desperately reap their past to try and come up with things they may have done, and so this kind of misinformation could cause women to stress and lose sleep and that is definitely bad for your health, nevermind being cruel.
Goop has not responded to interview requests by the news site.