Why Does My Doctor Tell Me Not To Use Antiperspirant Or Deodorant On The Day Of My Mammogram
You are asked to not use antiperspirant or deodorant on the day you get a mammogram because many of these products contain aluminum. This metal can show up on a mammogram as tiny specks. These specks can look like microcalcifications, which are one of the things doctors look for as a possible sign of cancer. Not using these products helps prevent any confusion when the mammogram films are reviewed.
What Does The Evidence Say
Studies aimed at determining if a connection between underarm products and breast cancer really exists have not been able to find a causal link. One study in 2002 looked at about 800 women with breast cancer and a similar number of matched controls. They asked about the use of antiperspirants and deodorants, and underarm shaving habits. They could not find any difference between those with and those without breast cancer for any of these behaviours.
Another small case control study, in 2006 found that 82% of the controls and 52% of cases used antiperspirants, indicating that using the under arm product might protect against breast cancer. While the study is too small to justifiably make such a claim, it certainly does not support the antiperspirants cause cancer story.
Reputable groups like the American National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, the American Cancer Society and most other major authorities suggest the link between deodorant or antiperspirant use and breast cancer is unconfirmed, or simply a myth.
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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Not Evidence Of A Human Link
The authors state that their results are compelling evidence that aluminum is a human carcinogen. Dr. Kotryna Temcinaite, senior research communications manager at Breast Cancer Now, disagrees. That cells exposed to aluminum salts in laboratory experiments led to genomic instability is not evidence that aluminum salts are carcinogenic, she said.
However, she added, These papers provide evidence of the need for further evaluation to see if aluminum compounds can be classified as carcinogens.
Dr. Grumley also questioned whether these studies provide evidence of a link: As a physician and clinician, I take it with a grain of salt. You cannot extrapolate we dont inject into the system, and we are not mice.
I would never use these studies to tell women they cant use deodorants.
Dr. Janie Grumley
Dr. Temcinaite added, Our bodies also have several defense mechanisms that detect and get rid of cells that arent quite right, so genomic instability alone may not always be enough to result in cancer.
an analysis of 19 studies concluded that there was no scientific evidence to support the hypothesis of a possible link between antiperspirants and breast cancer.
She added, There are currently no strong epidemiological studies that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and ultimately carcinogenicity of aluminum has not yet been proven.
Why We Sweat At All
The skin is our largest organ and apart from its main role as the first line of defense in the immune response system, it regulates the bodys temperature.
Perspiration is the main way to make sure the bodys temperature stays below 40°C . Above this temperature proteins become denatured leading to cell death and eventually organ failure. Our bodys temperature can be increased by many different things such as high environmental temperatures, movement or metabolic energy, emotional stress, and even by spicy food.
When sweat is released, the thermal energy is released by evaporation on the skins surface. Interestingly, sweating varies depending on its trigger. Thermoregulatory sweating occurs all over the body and happens in response to heat stress. Emotional sweating, on the other hand, can happen over the whole body, but tends to affect mostly the palms, soles and armpits. This kind of sweating is thought to be an evolutionary trait to prevent slipping while running or climbing in stressful situations, as it increases friction.1 Yes, moist hands have a better grip. Maybe you know the feeling of trying to open a plastic bag at the supermarket with dry hands and no success? All you have to do is wet your fingers a little bit. Same principle.
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Do Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer
Many women have read an article on the internet linking deodorant and antiperspirant usage with breast cancer.1 There was a plethora of articles on the internet,23 chain emails, and publications in magazines mentioning a particular health seminar in the United States where findings were presented not only linking breast cancer to antiperspirants but claiming that the use of antiperspirants seemed to be the leading cause of breast cancer.3
The explanation behind this theory was very simple. Toxins are purged in the form of perspiration. Antiperspirants, as the name suggests, prevent perspiration, thereby inhibiting the body from purging toxins from the axillary area. The toxins accumulate, and
What Do Scientists Know About The Ingredients In Antiperspirants And Deodorants
Aluminum-based compounds are used as the active ingredient in antiperspirants. These compounds form a temporary plug within the sweat duct that stops the flow of sweat to the skins surface. Some research suggests that aluminum-based compounds, which are applied frequently and left on the skin near the breast, may be absorbed by the skin and cause estrogen-like effects . Because estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer .
Some research has focused on parabens, which are preservatives used in some deodorants and antiperspirants that have been shown to mimic the activity of estrogen in the bodys cells . Although parabens are used in many cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical products, according to the FDA, most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants in the United States do not currently contain parabens. Consumers can look at the ingredient label to determine if a deodorant or antiperspirant contains parabens. Parabens are usually easy to identify by name, such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben. The National Library of Medicines Household Products Database also has information about the ingredients used in most major brands of deodorants and antiperspirants.
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Is There A Link Between Parabens And Breast Cancer
Not so fast, critics of the new study say.
Linda Loretz, PhD, is the director of Safety and Regulatory Toxicology for the Personal Care Products Council, a Washington D.C.-based trade group representing the global cosmetic and personal care products industry. She reviewed the new findings for WebMD. âThe paraben levels donât correlate with tumor location, estrogen, or any attribute of breast cancer, so it is hard to find any real meaning in these findings,â she says.
âThis study underscores the folly of trying to blame a specific consumer product for not only exposure to certain chemicals, but for exposure to those chemicals being responsible for causing a specific disease,â says Jeff Stier. He is a senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.
The research actually undermines any link between breast cancer and deodorants, he says.
Dana Mirick, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, agrees. Mirick and colleagues published a study in 2002 looking at antiperspirant use and breast cancer risk. âThe present study, in which measurable levels of parabens were found in the breast tissue of women regardless of their use of underarm products, seems to be in agreement with our previous results, namely that use of underarm products does not appear to be a significant contributor to the risk of developing breast cancer,â Mirick says in an email.
Could There Be A Link To Inherited Susceptibility To Breast Cancer
Development of breast cancer through the inheritance of genetic susceptibility is associated with loss of function of tumour suppressor genes including the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which results in impaired DNA repair processes . The increasing penetrance of these genes in Iceland, however, has suggested that underlying mechanisms of susceptibility can also be influenced by environmental factors as well as genetic factors . Although it is possible that cancers result in these susceptible people from an inability to repair random replication errors, it is also possible that these people are more susceptible to damage from genotoxic pollutant chemicals, including those absorbed from cosmetic products applied around the breast area, than the remainder of the population who have intact DNA repair systems .
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Whats The Difference Deodorant And Antiperspirant
You may not realize that your sweat doesnt stinkthat is, until it mixes with the bacteria on your skin. Then your sweat releases an odor. Deodorants and antiperspirants work in different ways to mask or prevent body odor.
Deodorants work by blocking body odor with a presumably more pleasant scent. They may also create a more acidic environment where applied, which may prevent the bacteria from releasing odors.
Antiperspirants use ingredients, usually aluminum-based, to block sweat glands, reducing the amount of perspiration released.
Myth: Using Antiperspirant Deodorant Causes Breast Cancer
No. There has been no causal, scientific link between antiperspirant use and breast cancer.
While its important that we all exercise caution around exposure to toxins and known carcinogens in our environment its also important that we keep complicated information/issues from being misinterpreted and spread as frightening rumours.
A few studies have been published and broadcasted in the media where researchers argued that antiperspirant use is linked to breast cancer. The bases of their arguments have been:
Most breast cancers occur in the upper outer part of the breast
Antiperspirants stop the body from sweating, which traps toxins
Aluminum and parabens leak into the skin, causing cell mutation
Many of these studies were too small and lacked some significant information. Most breast cancer do occur in the upper outer part of the breast, but this is because that portion of the breast has the most tissue automatically, making it a more likely site for cancer . Additionally, the Canadian Cancer Society states that the purpose of sweating is not so much to release toxins from the body, but to cool the body off . While antiperspirants are designed to reduce sweating, they cannot block 100% of sweat from leaving the body.
For more information on deodorant use and breast cancer, click HERE.
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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.
Can Nipple Piercing Cause Breast Cancer
Nipple piercings have become a popular trend. But theres currently no evidence that having pierced nipples increases the likelihood of developing breast cancer.
However, the area pierced is at risk of infection, at the time of the piercing and as long as you wear the jewellery, possibly even longer.
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Can Deodorants And Antiperspirants With Aluminium Cause Cancer
Is this something we should be concerned about or is it just a myth?”
There is no evidence to support the claim that deodorants or antiperspirants cause cancer. This link was first suggested in an email hoax, and rumours have circulated ever since. Typically, scare stories suggest that aluminium in antiperspirants prevents us from getting rid of toxins in our sweat, which clog up lymph nodes and lead to breast cancer. But the details of this are wrong.
First, sweating does help your body get rid of toxins. Second, breast cancer starts in the breast and spreads to the lymph nodes, not the other way around. Third, there is no evidence that aluminium can lead to cancer. Some reports occasionally claim to have found aluminium, or other deodorant chemicals, in samples taken from breast tumours. But they usually involve a very small number of women, and they never compare levels of aluminium in the tumours to levels in other parts of the body, or to women who dont have breast cancer. Without this information, these reports tell us nothing about deodorants and breast cancer risk. On the other hand, one study looked at 1600 women and found that those who use deodorant are no more likely to develop cancer than women who dont.
Your Antiperspirant Deodorant May Be Causing Breast Cancer Two New Studies Show
The decades-old debate over whether antiperspirant deodorants can lead to breast cancer has been reignited in the scientific community with the publication of two new studies.
The focus has been on the role of aluminium, often used in antiperspirant deodorant to reduce sweat, which can act like oestrogen on certain breast receptors.
While some studies in the past have said there is no link between aluminium used in deodorants and breast cancer, two new publications have confirmed the toxic effects of aluminium salts present in deodorants and their carcinogenic potential on breast cells.
The studies were carried out by a group of researchers from the Fondation des Grangettes and the Centre d’Onco-Hématologie in collaboration with the University of Oxford and led by the Swiss scientists André-Pascal Sappino and Stefano Mandriota.
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How Does Cancer Research Uk Evaluate Evidence
We regularly review new research on the causes of cancer to make sure our information is up to date and based on the best quality evidence. We develop our information by looking at lots of research carried out over many years. So, although new research comes out all the time, it is unlikely that one new study would change our position on a topic.
Some studies are better than others at telling us about how different factors affect cancer risk. These are some of the things we consider:
- Did the study look at cells, animals or people?
Studies in animals and cells can help scientists understand how cancer works, but they cant always tell us how its relevant to humans. So we focus on studies in people.
- How big is the study and how long did it go on for?
Studies on small numbers of people arent as reliable, because results are more likely to happen by chance. And studies that only follow people for a short amount of time can miss long-term effects. So we mainly look at studies that follow thousands of people over many years.
- Did the study account for other factors that could affect someones cancer risk?
There are lots of factors that can affect someones risk of cancer. Studies should take known risk factors into account. For example, if a study is looking at air pollution and lung cancer, it should also look at whether participants smoked.
- Where is the study published and who funded it?
How to find accurate information on cancer
Does Deodorant Cause Cancer
Using deodorant or antiperspirant does not cause breast cancer.
Claims that deodorants or antiperspirants increase your risk of breast cancer have been around for several years.
Some people have also claimed that aluminium in antiperspirants can increase your risk.
However, theres no convincing evidence of a link between breast cancer and deodorants, antiperspirants or their ingredients.
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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.
Can Antiperspirants Or Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer
Articles in the press and on the Internet have warned that underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause breast cancer . The reports have suggested that these products contain harmful substances, which can be absorbed through the skin or enter the body through nicks caused by shaving. Some scientists have also proposed that certain ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants may be related to breast cancer because they are applied frequently to an area next to the breast .
However, researchers at the National Cancer Institute , a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration , which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer.
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Deodorants Don’t Cause Breast Cancer
Contrary to Urban Legend, Underarm Products Pose No Cancer Risk
Oct. 15, 2002 — An urban legend suggesting that antiperspirants cause breast cancer has been laid to rest by a new study. Researchers studying 1,500 women found no increased risk of breast cancer in women who used an antiperspirant or deodorant.
The absence of any visible connection may ease many women’s fears, according to researcher Dana K. Mirick, MS, and colleagues of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, in a news release.
The study appears in the October issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers also found that many of the women were concerned that certain underarm products might contain harmful substances that could be absorbed into the system through nicks and cuts caused by shaving. However, the researchers found no association among shaving, use of underarm products, and breast cancer. In addition, there was no increased risk from using such products within an hour of shaving their underarms with a non-electric blade and breast cancer. –>