6 Breast News Stories You Can Ignore in 2016

  |   By Elisabeth Dale

I have to apologize in advance for this rant. But I'm angry about some breast news stories reported as factual, or even useful.

Chalk it up to my more mature age and a growing impatience with irrelevant information taking up my precious time. I don't have the energy to comment on the same stories that go ‘round and ‘round social media and resurface every few months. Plus I'm frustrated by the cycle of misinformation.

I'm fed up with seeing old reports wrapped up as "new" content. Sometimes a question is reworded, or a headline reworked to make it appear up-to-date. But the so-called studies cited and newsworthiness of the information is questionable. Many misinformed postings stay alive only through repetition. Why should you click through and waste your time?

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Here, in no particular order, are the six bra and breast news stories that need you can stop reading and re-posting:

1. The majority of women wear the "wrong" size bra. It's often quoted as 70%, 80%, or even 95%. And it might be true if 100% of bra brands and styles were constructed alike or fit the same way. But they aren't and don't. Sizing standards also vary across brands, as they do with other items of clothing. (I don't wear the same shoe size in all footwear.) Let's face it, most of us wear two different bra sizes in one month. Stop bullshitting smart bra shoppers with this pointless statement.

2. Bras have magical powers: wearing one 24/7 will keep your breasts perky or not wearing one will keep breasts from sagging. There is no legitimate research proving that bras do anything but keep your bust lifted while wearing one. The French study advocating the benefits of going braless has never been published or its results and methodology replicated. The only documentation is a transcript of a radio interview with a professor about his observations. On the flip side, there's no proof that bra wear keeps breasts perky, either.

3. Bras cause breast cancer. Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop resurrected this claim, again, last year. Plenty of science shows no link between bra wear and increased risk of breast cancer.

4. Bra wear is torture, and all women hate wearing bras. Plenty of boob owners (including me) are quite happy with their bras, and other lingerie. Universal bra hate appears tied to the relief one takes in removing their bra at the end of a long day. But can't the same thing be said of shoes? Sure, wearing my Louboutins all night may be exhausting, but that doesn't mean I'm tossing them in the garbage when I get home.

5. The shape/size/placement of breasts says something about a woman's personality. Small sample surveys fuel these types of headlines. Sometimes there's a company behind it, using boobs to turn attention to their product. What these stories do is separate breasts from the rest of us -- and objectify women's bodies. They also perpetuate silly, out-dated sexist stereotypes (i.e., small breasted women are smart and athletic, large boobs make you more sexually promiscuous, etc.).

6. Early detection saves lives. Most breast cancer awareness campaigns use this tagline. Women are reminded to perform monthly breast self-exams (no longer recommended by many organizations) or undergo annual mammograms (also the subject of controversy). The sooner one finds a malignancy, the less likely it will take a life. But it's now known that breast cancer doesn't operate the same way in everyone, and this mantra doesn't tell the whole story. Regardless of the initial stage of diagnosis, some 30% of all patients will later develop Metastatic Breast Cancer --- the type that kills. MBC advocates are becoming more vocal, but more must be done to help those living with late-stage breast cancers.

What's your view? Are you also tired of hearing the same bra and breast stories in the news? Which ones do you find most harmful?

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