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Can Deodorant Cause Breast Cancer

Antiperspirants And Breast Cancer: Is There A Link

Can Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer

Recent years have seen an increase in the number of aluminum-free antiperspirants and deodorants on the market. The trend has been led by smaller, boutique brands marketed as natural, such as Here + Now, Justin Biebers new gender-neutral deodorant from Schmidts Naturals. But even Dove, one of the longest-established and biggest-selling deodorant brands in the world, launched its 0% Aluminum label this year.

This market shift is driven in part by a hotly disputed link between aluminum-based antiperspirants and breast cancer. Medical experts initially dismissed that link almost 20 years ago due to a lack of scientific studies. Several studies have been done since then, but there is still no scientific consensus. From EWG scientists, heres a summary of the current state of the science.

There are many ways that humans can be exposed to aluminum. Human studies have commonly focused on ingestion and inhalation, often in occupational settings, but aluminum can also be absorbed through the skin, especially skin damaged by shaving, and may accumulate in the body over time as a result of this type of exposure. This is potentially relevant for breast cancer because antiperspirants, which usually contain aluminum to prevent sweating, are applied to skin, near the breast.

Ultimately, we need more studies to reach a consensus. In the meantime, EWG will continue to look out for new research on the issue.

Oestrogenic Activity Of Dermally Absorbed Cosmetic Chemicals

Many component cosmetic chemicals with oestrogenic properties have been measured as present in human breast tissue or human milk , and direct confirmation of the ability of these chemicals to be absorbed from topical application in cosmetic cream into the human body has also been published . Furthermore, the ability of cosmetic chemicals to be absorbed at sufficient concentrations to exert physiological effects is exemplified by the Mortician’s Mystery published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1988 . This case report demonstrates that long-term topical exposure of hands to embalming creams can result in endocrine disruption to the whole human body, and in particular can affect breast tissue in males .

Figure 1

Effect of parabens and oestradiol on growth of MCF7 human breast cancer cells. Effect of five parabens on growth of MCF7 human breast cancer cells individually at no-observed-effect concentration values, of all five parabens mixed together at NOEC values, of 10-11 M oestradiol , or of 10-11 M E2 together with all five parabens at their NOEC values. Cells were grown and cell growth is presented as published previously .

Does Aluminum Cause Cancer

There is no evidence that skin exposure to aluminum causes cancer, says Beach. Pause for a collective sigh of relief. Breast cancer in particular is often discussed in this context, and while there is no substantial evidence that aluminum applied to the skin via a deodorant causes breast cancer, there is some evidence that exposure to aluminum can deregulate estrogen signalling, which may promote the metastasis of existing estrogen-positive breast cancer cells. But this only occurs in a minority of types of cancers.

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Do Mobile Phones Cause Breast Cancer

Theres no evidence that radiation from mobile phones has any effect on your risk of developing breast cancer.

Some people worry that radio waves produced and received by mobile phones may be a health risk, especially if they keep their phone in their breast pocket.

However, theres currently no evidence that radio waves from mobile phones cause breast cancer or increase the risk of developing it.

How Could A Link Exist Mechanistically Between Underarm Cosmetics And Breast Cancer

Myth vs. Reality: Can Deodorant Cause Breast Cancer ...

An extensive number of cosmetic products are applied topically on and around the human breast on a daily basis, often multiple times a day, including not only underarm anti-perspirant/deodorant products but also body lotions, body sprays, moisturising creams, breast firming/enhancing creams and suncare products. These products are not rinsed off but left on the skin, allowing for continuous dermal exposure, absorption and deposition into underlying tissues, which may be further increased by abrasions in the skin created by shaving . The extent to which chemicals absorbed by this route escape metabolism remains unknown, but they would certainly escape the systemic metabolism to which orally derived chemicals would be subjected .

With current cultural pressures, these products are used with increasing frequency and quantity , and by ever younger children including babies , and the effects of long-term low-dose exposure to these mixtures of multiple chemicals are unknown. The diversity in usage of these cosmetics and the range of different products available provides ample possibility for cancer to arise through issues of quantity used, through pattern of usage or through individual susceptibility to specific product formulations .

Table 1 Components of cosmetics applied to the underarm and breast area

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Aluminum And Kidney Disease

The FDA requires aluminum-based deodorant manufacturers to include a warning label for people living with kidney disease stating Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease. This advisory is for people living with kidney disease whose kidneys are functioning at 30% or less . Typically, aluminum found in your body is filtered through your kidneys. If your kidneys are not fully functioning, they may not be able to effectively filter out all aluminum from your body.

Can Aluminum In Antiperspirants Cause Cancer

The whole idea of linking aluminum in antiperspirants to breast cancer started with an e-mail hoax back in the 1990s suggested that chemicals in antiperspirants cause breast cancer. This turned into an urban legend and spread like wildfire. To shed some light on this rumor, a study was published in 2002, which included 1,606 women . They found no association between the use of deodorants or antiperspirants and the risk of breast cancer. They also demonstrated that applying either deodorants or antiperspirant within an hour of shaving has no influence on the risk for breast cancer.9 To sum it up, they myth-busted this rumor.

But shortly after, another study was published, which concluded that more frequent use of deodorants or antiperspirants was linked with a breast cancer diagnosis at an earlier age. This study included 437 women who had all survived breast cancer and did not include a control group.10

If an experiment lacks controls, one can find statistical causal links between arbitrary activities and breast cancer.

I could, for example, choose flossing teeth, and then go on to ask breast cancer survivors when they began flossing. The data would provide me with a statistical relationship. Regrettably, this study was interpreted by many as evidence for a connection between breast cancer and deodorant/antiperspirant use. Whereas, the only meaningful conclusions we can extract from this is that women who use deodorants tend to be younger.11

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Does Stress Cause Cancer

Theres no conclusive evidence that stress increases your risk of breast cancer.

A number of studies have looked at the links between stress and breast cancer, but there isnt enough evidence to show a clear association.

Stress can be linked to a rise in other lifestyle behaviours, such as being less active or drinking alcohol, which could increase your risk of breast cancer.

Is There A Link Between Antiperspirants Or Deodorants And Breast Cancer

Can Deodorant Cause Breast Cancer?

Because underarm antiperspirants or deodorants are applied near the breast and contain potentially harmful ingredients, several scientists and others have suggested a possible connection between their use and breast cancer . However, no scientific evidence links the use of these products to the development of breast cancer.

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Can My Deodorant Cause Breast Cancer

It’s frightening to think that applying deodorant or antiperspirant, something many people do every day, could cause breast cancer. You may have heard about the possible link between deodorant and breast cancer and recent studies that have investigated this claim. The concern is that parabens, preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants, and aluminum, an active ingredient in many antiperspirants, can cause breast cancer .

Parabens are the most widely used preservatives in the cosmetics industry however, they’re rarely used in deodorants and antiperspirants . Parabens have been at the center of some cancer studies because they have estrogen-like qualities. Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer tissue, some researchers are concerned that parabens may have the same effect when absorbed through the skin. Scientists were particularly concerned about parabens in antiperspirants and deodorants because they’re applied near breast tissue .

A 2004 study revealed that parabens can build up in breast tumors — the study found parabens in 18 of 20 samples of tissue from human breast tumors . However, the study didn’t test healthy breast tissue, so there’s no conclusive evidence that paraben buildup caused the tumors. Neither the National Cancer Institute nor the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found evidence that parabens in antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer .

Is There A Link Between Cancer And Using Deodorant

You may have heard that using deodorant can increase the chances of developing cancer. Like most Americans, you probably use a daily regimen of deodorant or some form of antiperspirant.

Deodorants mask the odor of underarm perspiration by stopping the formation of bacteria. Antiperspirants, however, decrease perspiration from the sweat glands of the underarm. Sometimes, you may find a combination of both deodorant and antiperspirant in products that stick or roll-on to the underarm in order to remove body odor.

Such products can contain compounds, parabens, and chemicals that are estrogen-like, causing the concern of breast cancer development that can be stimulated by estrogen. This reasoning stems from the fact that more than 50 percent of breast cancers occur near the underarm in the upper outer quadrants of the breast.

Antiperspirants also can contain aluminum chloride and chlorohydrate, which can decrease the gene function BCRA-1 and the repair genes of the breast, causing further worry of the occurrence of cancer.

Others believe that shaving the underarm can cause cancer by allowing deodorant or antiperspirant chemicals to enter the body through minor razor cuts.

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Why Breast Cancers Are Often Near The Armpit

One reason that people have believed that there is a connection between antiperspirant use and breast cancer is that many breast cancers start in breast tissue that is close to the underarms. This is more likely due to the fact that the breast tissue higher up in the chest is denser. Dense tissue is more likely to develop cancer, and it makes it harder to detect unusual growths during exams and mammograms.

Who Are At Risks Of Breast Cancer

Deodorant can cause breast cancer

The main causes of breast cancer or any form of cancer are yet to be ascertained. However, the following are some of the reasons that may be responsible for breast cancer:

  • Age: In majority of the cases breast cancer are often seen in women above 55.
  • Gender: Along with women breast cancer may also detect in men but probability is very less. Globally the cases are very high among women.
  • Genetic tendencies: Mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 may increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Early onset of menstruation: Women whose periods starts before the age of 12 are more likely to get breast cancer.
  • Becoming a mother at an older age: Giving birth to your first child after the age of 35 can also be a risk factor for breast cancer.
  • Hormone therapy: Estrogen and progesterone drugs taken after menopause can also increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Late menopause: Menopause at the age of 55 can also pose a risk of breast cancer.

In addition, there are other factors that may be responsible for breast cancer. Such as family history, poor lifestyle, unbalanced diet and excessive alcohol consumption etc.

But presently according to the recent studies it has been found that deodorants can also cause breast cancer especially in women.

Breast Cancer Prevention.


  • Breast cancer can be avoided by controlling weight. Women in the age group of 30-35 years should keep their weight balanced.
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    Q: Can Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer

    A:No. Using deodorants or antiperspirants does not increase your risk of breast cancer. Claims linking deodorant/antiperspirant use and breast cancer have been around for many years.

    The theory behind the claim is that using deodorant/antiperspirant blocks the body from sweating out toxins which then build up in the lymph glands under the armpit, causing breast cancer. The fact is, our bodies have several ways of getting rid of toxins and, while sweating is one of them, it doesnt involve the lymph glands.

    According to researchers at the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, theres also no conclusive evidence that ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants cause breast cancer. If you are worried about the health effects of conventional deodorants, you may want to switch to natural products.

    And if youre concerned about risks associated with breast cancer, talk to your doctor.

    To learn more about Mount Sinai South Nassaus cancer specialists and related services, .

    How Can I Learn More About Breast Cancer Risk Factors And Ways To Find Breast Cancer Early When Treatment Works Best

    Women concerned about breast cancer can learn about risk factors for breast cancer and possible strategies to reduce breast cancer risk in Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention.

    You can also talk to your doctor, nurse, or other health care providers. The American Cancer Society has information about all aspects of breast cancer, from causes and prevention, to diagnosis and treatment. Contact us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit our website, www.cancer.org.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

    Initially breast cancer can be asymptomatic i.e. symptomless. Symptoms of breast cancer also depend on the types of breast cancer. However, the most common sign of this cancer is lumps. But also keep in mind that every lump is not cancer. Following are some symptoms of breast cancer

  • Feeling a stiff lump in the breast. Usually these lumps are painless.
  • Discharge of dirty blood-like fluid from the nipple.
  • Change in breast size.
  • Lumps or swelling in the underarm.
  • Redness of the nipple, etc.
  • However, these symptoms can be of any disease other than breast cancer. So consult with your doctor immediately if such signs appear and get the necessary tests done.

    Does Deodorant Cause Cancer

    Aluminum in Deodorants Can Cause Breast Cancer Use Lime to Eliminate Body Odor

    The routine is similar for many of us: Wake up, brush our teeth, take a shower, and then, we may reach for that stick of deodorant or antiperspirant. These products have a simple goal: prevent body odor. But are they dangerous to our health? The short answer: Researchers havent found any compelling evidence to suggest they are.

    Over the years, claims have been made that deodorants or antiperspirants may cause cancer, specifically breast cancer, and a few studies have offered theories that seem to bolster the claims. But real evidence is lacking.

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    Do Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer

    Underwire bras do not increase your risk of breast cancer.

    There have been some concerns that the wires in the cup of underwire bras may restrict the flow of lymph fluid in the breast causing toxins to build up in the area. However, theres no reliable evidence to support this.

    If your bra is too tight or too small, the wires can dig into your breasts and cause discomfort, pain or swelling. Find out more about wearing a well-fitting bra.

    Stages Of Breast Cancer

    There are various stages of this cancer. The stages are divided depending on the size of the tumor and their effects

    Stages of Breast Cancer

    Stage 0 Cancer cells in this stage do not spread outside the duct of the breast. They dont even reach to the rest of the breast.

    Stage 1 The tumor in this stage is not more than 2 cm wide and the lymph nodes are also not affected. But cancer cells start increasing in size which begins to affect healthy cells. However, their size ranges from 0.2 mm to 2 mm. In some cases, they may be larger than 2 mm in size.

    Stage 2 Breast cancer in this stage begins to spread beyond its size to other parts. In this stage, it may have spread to other parts.

    Stage 3 It is the serious stage. In this stage cancer begins to spread to bones or other organs. In addition, a small portion of it can spread to 9 to 10 lymph nodes under the arms and into the collar bone.

    Stage 4 Tumors in this stage can be of any size and cancer cells can spread to any part of the body such as liver, bone, kidney and brain.

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    What Does Science Say About It

    The link between cancer and using deodorant, antiperspirant, and shaving, is a concern for 90 percent of Americans that use some form of these products.

    In 2002, a study of 813 women that had been diagnosed with breast cancer was compared with 792 women that did not have breast cancer. Each woman was asked about her use of deodorant or antiperspirant, if any, and if so, how often. Results of the study concluded there were no differences in the frequency of using such products between the women that had breast cancer and the women that did not.

    The women that used the odor-masking products were diagnosed with breast cancer on an average of 12.6 years sooner than the women that infrequently used such products.

    Another study in 2003 focused on 437 women that had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This time, the women were asked about shaving their underarms and again about their deodorant or antiperspirant use.

    The women that started shaving their underarms and using odor-masking products before the age of 16 were diagnosed with breast cancer on an average of 9.6 years sooner than the women that did so after turning 16-years-old.


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