Dressed to Kill (book)

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Dressed to Kill
Dressed to kill book.png
First edition cover
Author Soma Grismaijer, Sydney Ross Singer
Country United States
Language English
Genre Non-Fiction
Publisher ISCD Press; Avery Publishing Group/Penguin Putnam
Publication date
1995; 2005
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 192 pp
ISBN 0-89529-664-0; 978-1930858053
OCLC 32052884
616.99/449071 20
LC Class RC280.B8 S53 1995

Dressed to Kill is a 1995 book by Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer that proposes a link between bras and breast cancer. According to the authors, the restrictive nature of a brassiere inhibits the lymphatic system, leading to an increased risk of breast cancer. Their claim that bras cause breast cancer has been dismissed by the scientific community; major medical organizations including the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society have found no evidence that bra-wearing increases breast-cancer risk.[1][2]


Singer and Grismaijer argue that bra-wearing may be a major cause of breast cancer because of the purported effect of the bra on lymphatic circulation. Their interpretation is that constriction from tightly worn bras inhibits the proper functioning of the lymphatic system and leads to a buildup of fluid within the breast tissue. In addition, they state carcinogenic substances that we take into our bodies through petrochemically polluted food, air and water course throughout the body, including the breast tissue, need to be flushed from the tissues by the lymphatic system. Hence, bra-induced constriction of the breast lymphatic vessels, according to the authors, concentrates these toxins within the breast tissue, which may ultimately lead to cancer.

Singer and Grismaijer claim 70% of breast cancer cases are unexplainable by the then-current [as of 1995] known risk factors for breast cancer. In addition, the authors state that breast cancer is only a problem in cultures where women wear bras; in bra-free cultures, breast cancer is a rare event. They argue that women who wear a bra 24 hours a day are 125 times more likely to have breast cancer than women who are bra-free. Their study also claims that bra-free women have about the same incidence of breast cancer as men.

Singer and Grismaijer state that they noticed that the Māori of New Zealand, who are integrated into white culture and therefore wear bras, have the same rate of breast cancer, while the aboriginals of Australia, who are bra-free, have practically no breast cancer. The same was true for “Westernized” Japanese, Fijians and other bra-converted cultures.

Singer and Grismaijer examined the bra wearing attitudes and behaviors of over 4,700 US women in 5 major cities. They claim about half of the women questioned had had breast cancer. Women who had had breast cancer were asked about their bra-wearing habits prior to their diagnosis of cancer. The authors add that they hope that the medical community will follow-up with further research to evaluate their claims scientifically. The authors conclude: "The bra industry is a multi-billion dollar enterprise. And billions of dollars are spent each year researching and treating this disease. Ironically, ending breast cancer can cause financial hardship for many people." [3] To dismiss critics of their work, they claim the mainstream medical organizations all denied the link between smoking and lung cancer for decades after the initial research was published.[4]

After self-publishing Dressed to Kill, Singer and Grismaijer wrote another book about the dangers of wearing bras[5] and several other books, in which they argue that sleeping on a tilted bed can prevent everything from Alzheimer's disease to impotence;[6] that defecating, urinating and sweating more frequently and more copiously can prevent many conditions such as prostate enlargement and the symptoms associated with menopause;[7] and, in The Doctor Is Out! Exposing the High Blood Pressure, Low Thyroid and Diabetes Scams, even that these three lifestyle changes can prevent high blood pressure, low thyroid conditions, and diabetes.[8]

Scientific reception[edit]

Medical and scientific bodies have generally not supported the book's claims about bras and breast cancer:

  • The National Cancer Institute (US) states that bras have not been shown to increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.[9]
  • The American Cancer Society states, "There are no scientifically valid studies that show wearing bras of any type causes breast cancer."[1]
  • The U.S. National Institutes of Health states, "Breast implants, using antiperspirants, and wearing underwire bras do not raise your risk for breast cancer."[2]
  • In 2000, as a follow-up to misreporting of a UK study, British health professionals and "Cancer charities" stated that bras cause no increase in breast cancer risk.[10][11]
  • A study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found "no aspect of bra wearing, including bra cup size, recency, average number of hours a day worn, wearing a bra with an underwire, or age first began regularly wearing a bra, was associated with risks" of breast cancer.[12] The study included detailed studies of women's lifestyle and bra-wearing habits and found no correlation between bra use and cancer.[13][14]

The authors' proposal that bras block the lymphatic system which lead to accumulated toxins and cancer was likewise contradicted by scientific study. The National Institutes of Health examined cancer rates among women who had their underarm lymph nodes removed as part of melanoma treatment: "The surgery, which is known to block lymph drainage from breast tissue, did not detectably increase breast cancer rates, the study found, meaning that it is extremely unlikely that wearing a bra, which affects lymph flow minimally if at all, would do so."[14]


  1. ^ a b Bras and Breast Cancer, from the American Cancer Society. Accessed July 10, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Breast Cancer Information from MedlinePlus. Accessed July 10, 2008.
  3. ^ Singer, Sydney Ross (2007). "Bras Still Cause Breast Cancer: Are Your Patients Dressed To Kill?". The Herbal Advisor.com. Archived from the original on 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  4. ^ Grismaijer, Soma; Singer, Sydney (2002). Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. ISCD Press. ISBN 0-89529-664-0. pp. 128-131
  5. ^ Grismaijer, Soma; Singer, Sydney (2001). Get It Off! Understanding the Cause of Breast Pain, Cysts, and Cancer, Illustrated with A Little Breast Play. ISCD Press. ISBN 1-930858-01-9. 
  6. ^ Grismaijer, Soma; Singer, Sydney (2000). Get It Up! Revealing the Simple Surprising Lifestyle that Causes Migraines, Alzheimer's, Stroke, Glaucoma, Sleep Apnea, Impotence,...and More!. ISCD Press. ISBN 1-930858-00-0. 
  7. ^ Grismaijer, Soma; Singer, Sydney (2001). Get It Out! Eliminating the Cause of Diverticulitis, Kidney Stones, Bladder Infections, Prostate Enlargement, Menopausal Discomfort, Cervical Dysplasia, PMS, and More. Iscd Pr. ISBN 1-930858-02-7. 
  8. ^ Grismaijer, Soma; Singer, Sydney (2001). The Doctor Is Out! Exposing the High Blood Pressure, Low Thyroid and Diabetes Scams. ISCD Press. ISBN 1-930858-04-3. It's easy to see how high blood pressure has become a major medical scam. [Sample quotation, page 12] Blood pressure measurements can be whatever the doctor wants them to be. [Sample quotation, page 14] 
  9. ^ Fact Sheet on Breast Cancer Risk Factors, from the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Accessed July 10, 2008.
  10. ^ "Claims of bra link to cancer dismissed". BBC. 2000-10-30. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  11. ^ Stuart, Julia (2000-11-02). "Don't burn your bra just yet". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  12. ^ Chen L, Malone KE, Li CI (2014). "Bra wearing not associated with breast cancer risk: a population-based case-control study.". Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 23 (10): 2181–5. doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0414. PMC 4184992. PMID 25192706. 
  13. ^ "Putting to rest the myth that bras can cause breast cancer". The Washington Post. 2014. Retrieved 2014-10-26. 
  14. ^ a b Ray, C. Claiborne (2010). "Q & A Bras and Cancer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-22. 

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