Friday, September 30, 2016

Can Antiperspirants Or Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer?

A few nights ago, Gino sent me an article warning that underarm antiperspirants or deodorants can cause breast cancer. Specifically aluminium ones. He suggested that I maybe I shouldn't be using them. I replied that I've used aluminium free deodorant for years.

Why aluminium ones you must be wondering?

Some scientists have suggested that there may be certain ingredients in underarm aluminium deodorants or antiperspirants related to breast cancer since they are applied frequently to an area next to the breast.

The articles have suggested that these aluminium filled products contain harmful substances which can be absorbed through the skin or enter the body through nicks caused by shaving.

Once absorbed, it can cause estrogen (hormonal) like effects. Since estrogen has the ability to promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that aluminium based compounds in deodorants and antiperspirants may contribute to development of breast cancer.

There is also research showing that the number of breast cancers diagnosed in the upper, outer area of the breast (which is the part closest to the armpit) is on the rise (Darbre at al, 2013).

I do not know of any local studies done so far but Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute say there is no evidence directly antiperspirant/ deodorant use to cancer.

The research does not proof that antiperspirant causes breast cancer although some researchers who studied the chemicals are questioning if aluminium in combination with all the other compounds found in the antiperspirants/ deodorants (and many other personal care products we use) could add up to something harmful.

Many questions remain unanswered, but you cannot rule out the idea that these complex chemical mixtures could cause or contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Now you know.


Darbre PD, Mannello F and Exley C (2013). Aluminium And Breast Cancer: Sources Of Exposure, Tissue Measurements And Mechanisms Of Toxicological Actions On Breast Biology. J Inorg Biochem. 128: 257-261. DOI: 10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2013.07.005.

Jones J (2000). Can Rumors Cause Cancer? J Nat Cancer Insti. 92(18): 1469-1471.

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