Image above from Huffington Post
Having large breasts is not as glorious as one would think. They cause neck, shoulder and upper back pain, prevent inadequate visualization of one’s feet, increase risk of rashes and chaffing, poor posture, and personally speaking, cause one to incur large expenses when they knock over things in the studio.
Medical studies linking large breasts to health risks include the following:
In 2012, Gayde et al wrote in Breast, “The incidence of breast cancer was also found to be higher in woman with larger breasts in the combined population”. However, the good news is they found mammogram sensitivity and specificity GREATER for those with larger breasts.
In 2012, Erickson et al identified genetic variants linked to breast size and breast cancer risk.
In 2015, Cakir et al discussed how those women who removed glandular breast tissue during breast reduction/reconstruction were at less risk of breast cancer and mammogram sensitivity increased
In 2017, obesity was linked to an increase in multiple cancers including breast, ovarian, kidney and colon cancer.
And for years obesity, which could be associated with larger breasts, has been linked to an increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
US lingerie company Genie created this chart to determine how much a woman’s breast weighed.
- A-cups weigh 236.3g, the equivalent of two chipmunks
- B-cups weigh 447.5g, the equivalent of five cockatiels
- C-cups weigh 531.3g, the equivalent of one newborn polar bear cub
- D-cups weigh 758.8g, the equivalent of one wigeon duck
- E-cups weigh 1,006.4g, the equivalent of one Netherland Dwarf rabbit
- F-cups weigh 1,180g, the equivalent of one three-month-old Persian kitten
The Japanese branch of the company posted these graphics to help conceptualize weight with breast size.
Breast weight, however, is difficult to predict based on size, since some breasts have more density than others.
CBS Boston recently reported many women are choosing to remove their breast implants. Out of fear of a rare type of cancer, anaplastic large cell lymphoma, some women have opted for “explant” surgery, removing the implant and maintaining a smaller, natural look.
So would reducing one’s natural breast size improve one’s health?
It appears as above the factor of weight is minimal and breast reduction surgery would do little to decrease one’s BMI, or Body Mass Index, used to quantify obesity-related health risks.
Secondly, the internal scarring that is left after surgery could potentially interfere with the sensitivity of mammography as opposed to natural unmolested breast tissue.
Thirdly, breast reduction surgery is not without its risks.
These can include:
Scars, external and internal
So if one wanted to improve posture, back pain and cosmetic appearance, she would have to weigh the pros and cons. And for many, breast reduction proves successful and offers the desired results. However, for a woman at low risk of breast cancer who wishes to reduce the size of her natural breasts to be “healthier”, the data is lacking to recommend such action. Rather consider maintaining a good weight and having regular check ups with your medical provider.
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Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, iHeart Radio and Board Certified Family Physician