The right bra for your breast health

Going braless is a trend in certain open-minded countries especially those in Europe, but definitely not my country, Malaysia. As you know, Malaysia is a conservative country with people of different ethnic groups practicing their own cultures. Every culture here has their beautiful specialties to celebrate. Despite their skillfulness in getting along well with people of diverse backgrounds, Malaysians are generally more conservative as compared to most Europeans. Taking into account our cultural sensitivities, going braless is unacceptable and immoral in Malaysian context, for sure. However, we can consider going wireless. I mean… switch to wireless bras.

What has inspired me to write this post as a Malaysian is that… something bad but enlightening has happened on me for the past few weeks. Let me flash back to approximately two weeks ago…

While getting dressed up for work, I tried to get a bra from my wardrobe. It was disappointing to find that there were only old bras as all the current bras were still a little wet and I had to leave them on my clothes drying rack (I was travelling so my laundry was undone). I took an old bra of a smaller size from my wardrobe and put it on forcefully despite my discomfort.

Off to work I went. At work, I felt some pain on my right breast. However, I disregarded the pain. Once I reached home, I took away the uncomfortable, old bra. To my horror, I felt an obvious growth under my right breast. The first thing that crossed my mind…breast cancer? No… no… It couldn’t be… Maybe the tight bra is to be blamed. 

For a few days, it was a struggle for me in mustering the courage to seek for medical treatment. At the same time, I didn’t want to shock my loved ones with the bad news that I might be having breast cancer (I am touching wood). I have been applying the magic cream (believed to be so) found in my makeshift medical kit on the growth, with the hope that it will disappear soon.

Since I was damn worried about my breast health, I decided to go braless by wearing two layers of clothes. However, I gave up my braless plan after one day due to the insecurity I felt in the public eye. Despite that, I went to UNIQLO to shop for some wireless bras of a bigger size. 

Unfortunately, it is still there under my right breast. I had no choice but to see the doctor. After visiting the same clinic twice but leaving without consultation with the reason that the doctor on duty was a male, I finally had the chance to consult a female doctor at the third visit.

I wonder if I should be thankful as…at least, she didn’t mention about breast cancer after examining my growth. She hypothesized that it is breast infection. It could be due to tight bras, sweat, biological factors and others. She has deduced that I need three injections and oral medication.  She then gave me my first jab on my right buttock. I have been advised to see her daily from Tuesday to Thursday for further treatment. She was caring enough to point out that there are certain foods to avoid and I should eat more papaya. Besides, she warned me to take good care of myself as a hospital visit to clear the pus in the growth might be needed once it gets serious.

A few hours after my first jab, I feel that the growth has diminished a little. That’s good. 

What I would like to tell you all through this story is that…

It’s important to seek for treatment in a timely manner when it comes to our breast health. We shouldn’t feel ashamed of seeking treatment as health is wealth. Moreover, it’s everyone’s right to seek for medical treatment when it is needed. 

In the past, I sometimes had the mindset that I should wear tighter bras so that my breasts look smaller and more “decent.” Whenever I bought a sport bra, I always purposely chose a bra of smaller cups compared to my real breast size. It was to ensure that my breasts looked smaller under the bra’s compression. Besides, I used to have the wrong belief that wired bras are good for my breast health. Now, I have truly learnt my lesson. Never wear a smaller bra. Always go wireless. Embrace your breast size. Do not try to fit in a smaller bra. The same goes for our social relationships. Don’t try to fit in. It’s just like what my good friend, Batman has told me… I am glad for those sincere friends who still stay with me despite my imperfections. 

I hope that you enjoy my story. Ladies, it’s time for you to consider going wireless. 

I sincerely hope to dedicate this blog post to my research supervisor during my postgraduate study. Her name is Dr. Sridevi Sriniwass. She is a breast health warrior currently battling breast cancer.

IMG_20170913_203351_352
Me together with my beloved and respected ex-supervisor, Dr. Sridevi
selective focus photography of woman in white sports brassiere standing near woman sitting on pink yoga mat
Photo by Bruce Mars on Pexels.com

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