Doctoral Student Finds No Link between Bras and Breast Cancer

Friday, September 26, 2014

A case-control study led by a University of Washington School of Public Health doctoral student found no association between wearing bras and increased breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. The study was published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

"There have been some concerns that one of the reasons why breast cancer may be more common in developed countries compared with developing countries is the differences in bra-wearing patterns," said Ms. Lu Chen, a doctoral student in the department of epidemiology and a researcher in the Public Health Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. "Our study found no evidence that wearing a bra increases a woman's risk for breast cancer."

The study included 454 women with invasive ductal carcinoma and 590 women with invasive lobular carcinoma, the two most common subtypes of breast cancer. The participants were ages 55 to 74 and from the Seattle metropolitan area. The study also included 469 women who did not have breast cancer who served as controls.

The research was supervised by Dr. Christopher Li, a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and a research professor at the UW School of Public Health