October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and here at Emm-A-Man we want to help everybody be as aware as possible regarding breasts and everything that goes with them! After all, breasts aren’t just there to be decorative: they serve a very important function and because they’re out THERE, they are also pretty defenseless and as such should be handled properly. You may not own a pair, but you definitely know and care about people who do and therefore you, too, should be aware! This week, we talk the breast-holders also known as bras (and not your hands): there have been whispers about how bras are bad for health and may cause breast cancer, etc, but there are – so far – no scientific, medically-supported studies that can back these claims up. However, because the way breasts are treated is important for their overall health, bras should fit well. Because of general lack of information, many times women end up buying bras that don’t fit right, which can end up causing drooping breasts and pain when the underwire ends up poking into flesh instead of lying flat. Overly loose bras may not give any support at all as well as make her clothes look strange and bulgy. Note: Overly TIGHT bras are not scientifically proven to cause breast cancer! And contrary to popular misconception, a tight bra doesn’t give better cleavage, it just pushes flesh in all directions. If you know that she wants an impressively deep cleavage a la Christina Hendricks, steer her in the direction of a good push-up bra in a store where there are sales assistants who can help her pick the best fit.
But if there are no assistants, you can volunteer your help! How do you ascertain if a bra fits?
1. The shoulder straps should fit closely on her body, but not cut into her flesh; lifting her breasts so that they sit comfortably on her chest wall, without shifting position when she lifts her arms above her head.
2. The cups should be completely filled up, without any gaps or extra fabric, but she shouldn’t have any flesh bulging up over the top or the sides.
3. The underwire should sit flat on her breastbone, supporting the underside and the sides of her breasts; digging into her flesh and gaping away from her body are both no-nos!
4. The front and back of the bra bands should be on the same level and lie close to her body.
Remember: breasts change shape and size while they’re developing (obviously!), but they also constantly change as a woman’s weight increases or decreases, during pregnancy and after childbirth, and also as she ages. So be prepared to offer your bra expertise in times of need, which should be twice or thrice a year.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer amongst Malaysian women, with a risk factor of 1 in 28 for Malay women, and a 1 in 16 chance for both Chinese and Indian women. There are many factors for the occurrence of breast cancer, amongst them genetics and lifestyle, but taking good care of said breasts also play a big part in prevention, along with monthly breast checks. For more information on breast self-examinations, read Emmagem’s article here.
Images from: breastcancercare.org.uk