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National No Bra Day

Taking place in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and on the same day as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day, National No Bra Day was created in 2011 by people who wanted to raise awareness for breast cancer and support survivors, who were inspired in part by Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. The goal of raising awareness is to get more women to get mammograms and get screened for breast cancer. This way, intensive cancer treatments and breast removal can be avoided, and lives can be saved. To get the discussion started, some women celebrate the day by not wearing bras, and some women and men also wear purple. People also use the day to raise money for cancer research and donate their time. The day is not without its critics, though, who see it more as a day to glorify breasts than as a day to raise awareness about breast cancer.

In the United States, 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and about 40,000 women die from the disease there each year. It is the #1 type of cancer that women get worldwide, affecting both modern and developing countries, and it is the second leading cause of death for women. A small percentage of men also get breast cancer. In recent years, there has been a reduction in breast cancer rates for women over 50. Death rates from the disease have also been declining since about 1990, which can be attributed to better screening and early detection, more awareness, and improved options in treatment.

How to Observe

Celebrate the day by not wearing a bra, by wearing purple, or by doing both. These things are done to get people talking about breast cancer. The goal is to get more women to get mammograms so that lives can be saved. So, if you are a woman, today is the perfect day to go and get a mammogram or schedule one for the near future. You could also celebrate the day by donating money or time to an organization that focuses on breast cancer, such as Susan G. Komen, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the American Cancer Society, the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Cancer Research UK, and the Breast Cancer Alliance. When posting on social media, use the hashtags #NationalNoBraDay or #NoBraDay. Since the namesake of the day includes the bra, you could also celebrate by reading some history about the undergarment.

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