We all must agree the most comfortable part of a hectic day is going home and unhooking your bra. But, what if there is a separate day assigned for it, where you need not wear your bra and you call it a No Bra Day. Well, actually there is one, October 13 is widely known as the “National No Bra Day”. On this day, women are encouraged to forgo wearing a bra. This day was majorly dedicated to breast cancer survivors and to create awareness about breast cancer.
What Is No Bra Day?
The National NO Bra Day falls on the 13th of October to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So, this is considered to be a gentle reminder to men and women from all over the world to consult a doctor and take a check-up for breast cancer.
The No Bra Day History
Every year thousands of people suffer from breast cancer all over the world. There are several cases reported of women who have lost their lives to the fatal disease. On this National No Bra Day, women from all around the world create awareness about the disease and raise funds and educate women about breast cancer to save lives.
The National No Bra Day is celebrated on October 13th every year. The exact origin of the day is still unclear but two different days are observed to be the origin of the No Bra Day. Originally, it was titled BRA( Breast Construction Awareness) Day by Dr. Mitchelle Brown, a Toronto plastic surgeon. This day was especially celebrated for breast cancer survivors who successfully won the deadly disease and also to create awareness among women about breast cancer and encourage self-examination and monthly screening. The same year in July, an anonymous person with a username Anastasia Doughnuts created a website to spread awareness about the National No Bra Day and breast cancer. After three years, these two days were combined and celebrated on October 13 during the breast cancer awareness month.
Firstly, in 1600 B.C, the first instance of cancer was recorded and later, in 1985, an awareness week was organized in the United States. In 1991, Susan G. Komen began handing out pink ribbons to the survivors of breast cancer. The idea of No Bra Day began with a Facebook announcement titled “No Bra, No Problem”, later it was observed by women in 30 different countries including India, New Zealand, Romania, and Scotland. This event indicated women to take off their bras and get self-examination done.
Breast cancer is one of the most common and dangerous forms of cancer in the world. It is more common in women over the age of 50 and one in eight women is diagnosed with the disease in the United States but it is controllable if identified in the early stages and can be cured easily. One of the most common misconceptions is that breast cancer can only occur in women but in the United States around 2,600 men have been reported to have breast cancer.
Some Common Facts About Breast Cancer
- Breast cancer usually forms in the cells of the milk-producing ducts. These cells tend to grow more abnormally and rapidly than the other healthy cells forming a lump.
- A survey says, in India, every 4 minutes 1 woman is diagnosed with breast, and every 13 minutes one woman dies of it.
- 1400 women die every day because of breast cancer i.e a woman per minute dies somewhere in the world.
- About eight out of ten women who are diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history of breast cancer.
- Women with cancer in only one breast have a higher chance of developing cancer in the other breast too.
- Recent research suggests that breastfeeding for more than a year can slightly decrease the risk of breast cancer.
- Exercising can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women, it also helps the breast cancer survivors.
Signs of Breast Cancer
The number of cases of cancer is increasing in India every year. If identified in the early stages the risk of a woman dying of breast cancer can decrease considerably. So, if you find any of these symptoms make sure to visit your doctor.
- One of the major symptoms is a new lump in the breast or armpits, sometimes it might not be due to breast cancer but if it is prominent after your periods, it should be seriously considered.
- Abnormal swelling in any part of the breasts.
- Pain and Redness or flaky skin around the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk like blood.
- Irritation of breast skin
Causes of Breast Cancer
There are several causes for breast cancer, being aware of them is important to be cautious. Here are a few major causes listed,
- Taking birth control pills.
- Genetics- A family history of breast cancer.
- Obesity- Estrogen is always carried in fat cells, an increase in estrogen exposure can increase the risk of cancer.
- If you are having your first menstrual cycle before the age of 12, it might be a reason.
- Never giving birth or being older when giving birth to your first child.
How to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer?
- Avoid smoking- Mostly, if you start smoking at a younger age, the risk of getting breast cancer is higher than the non-smokers.
- The higher the amount of alcohol you drink, the higher the risk of developing breast cancer. If you cannot fully give up on the habit, at least reducing the alcohol intake and consuming a smaller amount can help prevent breast cancer.
- Breastfeed- If you are avoiding breastfeeding for any reason, just know that it can reduce the risk too, the longer you breastfeed the lower the chances of breast cancer.
- Overweight- If you are overweight, the probability of breast cancer is higher in you. So, make sure to maintain a healthy weight for your height.
- A healthy diet can help, include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Get screened for breast cancer monthly, women who follow this have a 47% lower risk of dying from breast cancer. The best time to get screened is 10 days after your menstruation. This is the right time because sometimes during your periods your breasts might be lumpy, so this is the right time to find out whether the lump is normal or not. Follow this procedure every month and women who do not menstruate can choose any day of a month.
- Self-examination- Look for the symptoms mentioned in this article, if you find anything abnormal in the shape or texture of your breast and any of the symptoms mentioned reach out to your doctor immediately. This self-test has to be done every month or whenever possible because if breast cancer is found in the early stages the chances of recovery are very high.
Just remember, if you are reaching out to your doctor, do not hesitate, explain the changes you noticed with your breasts clearly to the doctor, this way they can provide personalized treatment according to your condition. The doctor will immediately arrange tests such as a sonogram or a mammogram.
How to Celebrate No Bra Day?
The best way to celebrate No Bra Day is through social media. Women in social media are encouraged to post pictures not wearing bra using #nobraday #Nationalnobraday as women who survived breast cancer cannot go without a bra in order to hold their prosthesis after undergoing surgery. It is considered a great way to support women who fought and won breast cancer successfully. This way you will also create more awareness about breast cancer among women to wear no bra for a day and do a self-examination and it can also encourage gender equality. For some women, it is a day to free their breasts for a day and some take it more seriously to create awareness.
You can also help women with breast cancer by supporting them financially, it is another great way to celebrate No Bra Day. There are many groups available to pass your money to those who are in need, such as the American Cancer Society, and support other women experiencing the condition. Otherwise, you can take this opportunity and raise money for the research of breast cancer.
All the research and studies show us how difficult it is to experience the deadly disease but some simple steps such as self-examination and regular monthly breast cancer check-up can increase the chances of a person to live. If the cancer is identified at the right time and if the right treatment is given then the survival rates can be improved. Around 50% of the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are in the 3rd and 4th stages and it mostly leads to death. This is due to the lack of awareness about breast cancer and its symptoms. So, take No Bra Day as an opportunity to help fellow humans to recognize and get aware of the disease and its symptoms.
If you are reading this today, go and examine your breasts right away and if you find any symptoms of breast cancer the first thing to do is to reach out to your doctor. Just remember many women have successfully won cancer, so can you. It is necessary to spread awareness and educate people about breast cancer. Let’s fight this together.