Do Deodorants and Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer?
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Curejoy Expert Claude C Butler Explains:
The press (and recently the internet) has posted claims that underarm antiperspirants (to reduce underarm sweat) and deodorants (to destroy or mask unpleasant odors) are one of the leading causes of breast cancer in the US. They attribute it to certain chemicals in these preparations that block the expulsion of toxins through sweating, causing accumulation in the lymph nodes that can cause breast cancer.
They deduce this from the lower numbers of breast cancer cases in developing countries, where these products are not as widely used as in the US. But these claims fall flat as Europe, which has fewer women applying these products, beats the US in breast cancer instances and also the fact that sweat isn’t the primary source of toxin elimination in the body.
Fingers have also been pointed on the role of Aluminum (active ingredient) and Parabens (as a preservative) present in these products, in inducing estrogen-like effects when absorbed by the skin. Hormonal imbalances, especially higher estrogen levels contribute to growth of breast cancer cells. These claims have been strengthened by studies reporting parabens in samples of tissue from human breast tumors. This study though could not prove that parabens caused breast tumors or that parabens are found only in cancerous breast tissue or that paraben accumulation happened through use of these cosmetic products. So no concrete link could be made.
If you still aren’t convinced to pick up your deo this might be good news to do just that- Most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants in the US do not currently contain parabens. Check labels to see if your deo or antiperspirant does.
There is no association between deodorant or antiperspirant use and the risk of breast cancer. Family history and the use of oral contraceptives are still considered key to increasing your risk. So keep smelling good !!
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.