What’s going on up top?

A few years ago I had quite a scare when I discovered a lump about the size of a grape in one of my breasts. I didn’t waste any time getting it checked out by my Doctor I can tell you! The lump was of course taken very seriously and within a few weeks I was admitted to hospital and it was removed. The surgeon cut halfway around the circumference of the areola to gain access to the offending lump, a procedure that was carried out with absolute precision so that no damage was done to any of the milk ducts etc. I am pleased to say the scar is literally indiscernible. Tests later confirmed that the lump was in fact not cancerous, which of course was a great relief. It was a stressful time from first discovery until the ‘all clear’ some weeks later. All this made me a lot more aware about our cancer risk.

Up until this time I had never even heard of Breast self-examination and had discovered the lump in my breast purely by chance. It could have been many more months before I had actually discovered it. This made me realise how important it is to regularly check ones breasts.

I would like to impart to you some of what I have learnt along the way since that episode. The following information, which I have gleaned over the past months and years may help reduce your cancer risk.

This may seem a little boring, but please read on.

The Lymph System.

It is possible that a restricted Lymph System will not be able to function properly, eventually allowing the onset of disease.

It is now thought that extended bra wearing could be a large contributor to breast disease because they can affect the proper circulation of Lymph fluid*

*Research is still in its infancy but we feel it is extremely valid thus far.

The lymph system works throughout the whole body, removing bacteria, viruses and toxins that would otherwise eventually lead to disease including cancer- before they can do any harm. The lymph system also makes white blood cells, so is an essential part of the immune system.

A properly functioning Lymph system is vital to our long-term well being. The ‘nasties’ that we all encounter in our daily lives – toxins from our polluted environment, processed food, etc. can end up in the body’s fatty tissue. The majority of body tissue is exercised and stimulated throughout our daily lives simply by being mobile and active, and in this way is kept healthy. This activity allows the proper movement of lymph fluid around the body. Unlike the cardio vascular system (blood) the lymph does not have the benefit of a pump like our heart to circulate it, so it is believed that very restricting clothing (bras) can, if worn for long periods prevent the proper circulation of this important fluid and so restrict the removal of toxins from the breasts.
Breasts lead a different life to the rest of the body – often trussed up tightly inside the Bra, the lymph fluid is not able to flow freely until one is preparing for sleep at the end of an often-long day. Over a number of years it is possible this can lead to the start of disease within the breasts. Many women will have their bra’s on for over 16 hours a day – this is not natural, the breasts are very soft and pliable and would normally be able to move and be stimulated throughout the day, keeping the flow of Lymph moving. Bra wearing prevents a lot of the normal movement and stimulation of the breasts.
Research is now showing a quite dramatic increase in breast disease and breast cancer amongst westernised (Bra wearing) women.

Below are some common sense things you can do to improve the flow of lymph and help ensure you’re long-term health.

A.

Ensure that your Bra size is Correct! A poorly fitting bra can make life a misery.

B.

Remove your Bra as often as is practical for your own circumstances. – I.e. when you get home after work, when you have free time at the weekends, before you settle down to watch a good film in the evening etc.- just slip into something less restricting.

C.

Never wear a Bra to bed; the lymph system may be having its first opportunity of the day to perform properly.

D.

Why not try going bra less?

Many women suffer from painful or uncomfortable breasts especially during or around the time of their period, for many, relief can be found simply by not wearing a bra at this time. But, I here you say – ‘my breasts will go all saggy without support’. The truth is they will not go saggy. The Coopers ligaments that help form the internal shape and structure within the breast will actually have something to do when free of the false support given by the bra. After a few weeks the shape of the breast will actually improve and look more natural. With the new freedom the lymph system within the breasts will be able to function properly, tenderness and pain will reduce or disappear completely and the general health of the breasts will be vastly improved!

E.

For other than formal dress or special occasions, try wearing soft cup Bra’s or tops with wide sidebands and shoulder straps and no under-wires.

Remove that bra and slip into something less restricting. Check out our range of Organic Camisole Tops. Perfect for those hot summer days.

F.

Try to reduce your Bra wearing time to less than 12 hours a day. This has shown to reduce the incidence of breast cancer dramatically! (See point I. below)

G.

Try a little breast massage

Marks and red lines on your shoulders, under or around your breasts and sides? Get out of that bra as early as possible in the evening and give the area around the breasts, shoulders and sides a nice little gentle massage. Better still get your partner to do this for you. Why not try some massage oils? Try to make these gentle massage sessions a regular thing, perhaps mutual with you giving your partner a nice relaxing massage also – brilliant for increasing the bond within a relationship.

Upbringing or background may have influenced some people to believe that touching and feeling themselves may be considered dirty or in some way distasteful. I say – how wrong, you should have no guilty feelings about preventing breast disease!

H.

Do regular monthly Breast Self-Examination This can definitely be a lifesaver!

I.

Check out the book ‘Dressed To Kill’. A most enlightening read, ‘Dressed To Kill’ is the result of extensive study and research in America by Sydney Ross Singer and his partner Soma Grismaijer, – they looked at the possible link between Bra wearing and breast cancer. Their findings were a little disturbing with the risk of cancer seemingly 100 times greater for women who wear bras for extended periods – take heed this is not a scam.

I see a parallel here; perhaps men could learn something here about the dangers of wearing tight underpants! (Although, thankfully the fashion now seems to be for the more comfortable Boxer Shorts)

J.

Many of you will know of a close friend or relative affected by Breast Cancer, or may have lost a close friend, family member or acquaintance to this dreadful disease.

Many factors may influence whether an individual will get breast cancer, such as diet and lifestyle as well as hereditary factors. All I say is ‘be aware’-please don’t become part of the statistics.

I have nothing against bra wearing; In fact I have an extensive collection like everyone else. I think it is wise to be aware of some of the problems and pitfalls that can occur from poorly fitting and extended wearing of bras. Remember – Just like the rest of your body, the breasts deserve a little freedom and stimulation in order to remain healthy.

Breast cancer is the 2nd biggest killer in the western world after heart disease; please learn to check your breasts, underarms and collarbone/neck area for any lumps, bumps, redness, puckering, pain or discharge that is out of character for you.

Breast cancer can often be completely cured – early detection is the vital lifesaver!!

Keep you breasts healthy, get out of the ‘bolder holder’ and be free!

The advice and content given here does not replace your doctor!

If you ever have any concerns about your breasts or your general health, your GP must be your first port of call – get a professional opinion without delay!

Many women leave embarrassing and intimate health problems too long before visiting their GP – Embarrassment and modesty can cost you your life.

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