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BRAS AND BREAST HEALTH


Another common concern of nudists is the issue of female toplessness, topfree equality and rights, society's dependence on bras, the maintained attitude held by society of breasts being sex objects, and the affect of bra use on breast health.  An excellent organization at the forefront of topfree equality and women's rights is the Topfree Equal Rights Association (TERA), (topfree@tera.ca), based in Ontario, Canada.  This organization works with women, their lawyers, and legislators to defent equal topfree rights of women who are being forced to wear tops against their choice in places where men can freely go topless.

Here is another page that describes a study linking bra use to increased risks of breast cancer:
THE LINK BETWEEN BREAST CANCER AND BRAS
This is an excellent page, very well written, sensible and logical.  I have read it and was very impressed with the study.  It is a MUST-READ for anybody who is concerned about cancer and reducing the risk.  I don't know the exact statistic, but far too many women die of breast cancer every year and many more are infected with it, requiring surgery and various treatments.  One death is too many.  It is imperative that this world's society stops puting modesty and fashion before health and personal rights.

When used from a very young age, sagging can actually caused by the bras that are supposed to prevent it. The following information is provided by Ken L. Smith, a health teacher and Breast Health Facilitator for the American Cancer Society, in response to a request for information on this subject.  His information describes the physiology of the breasts and the negative impact bras have on their normal, healthy development.  My great thanks goes to Mr. Smith for providing this information.  Visit his breast health web page at
www.breastnotes.com.


In Response To: Prior discussion about the harm of bras (Bill(TX))

Hello Bill TX:

Could I have been the one to whom you are referring? I recall answering some questions regarding the effects of the bra on the breasts. Billy B. contacted me and said that you had made a request for reposting the article. I wish I could do that. It was off the top of my head, but I would be more than happy to try to reconstruct the information.

It appears that your main interest was in the relationship between the natural support of the breast provided by the ligaments (of Cooper) that are inside of the breast itself. They provide a connection between the chest wall (Pectoral Muscles) and the inside of the skin that covers the breast. These ligaments provide the shape of the breast, as well as the "lift" that is indicative of a youthful person. One purpose for wearing a bra is to artificially provide the "appearance" of lift, by physically lifting the breasts. This allows the outer fashion that is worn to fit the figure. Women often must choose a specific bra from their drawer for wearing under specific dresses, to match the darts or tucks that were placed in that dress.

Breasts will become pendulous (sag) from several causes. One is heredity. If you had the opportunity to observe a large group of pubescent females, you would see that some of them have breasts that sag, and they are still in puberty. Genes set them up for that, and nothing (short of surgery) will change it. Some women will have breasts that sag as they age. This is possibly heredity, but it is also likely to be caused by diet (I don't mean going on a weight-loss diet necessarily, but WHAT she eats, everyday). Poor eating habits will change the structure of the breast, often times allowing it to sag.

The average (C cup) breast (twenty to thirty years old, not pregnant or lactating) is one-third fatty tissue and two-thirds glandular (milk bearing) tissue. If a woman loses weight, due to exercise, diet, illness, or any other reason, fat storage tissue may (or may not) come from the breasts. If it does, the skin is no longer pushed away from the chest wall (restrained by the ligaments), so the breast will naturally sag. Replacement of the fatty tissues may or may not return to the breast, and if it does, it may or may not lift the breast back to its former position. Usually, it will not.

Milk production tissues will also atrophy if the body is not eating properly, or if the woman reaches peri-menopausal age (35? 38? 42?), because the lack of the estrogen hormone reduces the development of breast tissues. Those tissues will also atrophy after a woman ceases lactation. This allows the interior structure of the breast to atrophy, leaving a larger, loose covering of skin on the breast, which releases the pressure against the inside, which again allows the breast to sag.

All of this being said, your question was about the effect of the bra. We are told by "Madison Avenue" that a young girl needs to have a "training bra" to prevent the breast from sagging, and that women must wear "support" or breasts will sag. The ligaments provide that support already. Ligaments are similar to other tissues, in that if they are not used, they have no reason to be there, and they atrophy. Ligaments are not muscles, but we all know that if we push a muscle beyond its normal daily use, it will build to provide the strength that we need. Body builders do this all the time. If a person stops working out, those large muscles are "expensive to maintain" by the body, and they will get smaller, when we don't continue to use them. Ligaments are similar, in that they are there to do a job, but if the job is not requiring them to be there, they will get smaller. When we support the breast all the time, the ligaments don't have to do their work, so they don't develop. Many women that never wear a bra at all have firm, well lifted breasts. Some don't (heredity, remember?... or diet?).

Breasts contain no muscles, except for very minute ones that cause the nipple and the Montgomery's Glands (goose bumps) that surround the nipple to become erect, and to provide a very weak pressure on the milk producing glandular tissue to express milk. No exercise strengthens the breast or lifts the breast. Exercise DOES help strengthen the Cooper's Ligaments and the lymphatic circulation (if a bra is not there to constrict this circulation).

Breasts must circulate lymphatic fluid to drain the residual wastes and toxins from the breast cells, and lymphatic fluid only circulates when the skin is moved. When breasts move, they circulate the waste products. Bras hold breasts still (like any righteous woman would want, right?), but that eliminates a large part of that circulation. This is suspected of causing toxin buildup, aggrivating some of the problems that breasts develop over time.

>I meant to print it for my 15 year old daughter...

I am glad to hear that your daughter is interested in her health, and I am especially excited to hear that you and your wife are blessed with a relationship with your daughter that will allow the three of you to discuss this together.

I hope that this will meet your needs. If you have other questions, or if any of you would like to speak directly with me, I would be delighted to hear from you. My e-addy is posted above.

I have taught health and sex education in a California high school for about 12 years now. I am also a certified Breast Health Facilitator for the American Cancer Society, where I teach women (and men) how to do breast self exams, and I disseminate information about breast health and breast care. I will soon have a web site open at breastnotes.com. I welcome you to check it out (when I can get it open... LOL)

I hope this helps you.

Ken L. Smith

[A Personal Opinion By Mr. Ken L. Smith  <
breastcare@home.com>  Visit
www.breastnotes.com]