Recently, antiperspirants and deodorants have been under heavy fire in the press and on the internet in connection with breast cancer and the media have been posting claims that they’re one of the leading causes of breast cancer in the USA. According to them, these personal hygiene items contain certain harmful chemicals which block the elimination of toxins through sweating, leading to accumulation of toxins in the lymph nodes which can cause breast cancer. Their conclusions arise from the fact that in the developing countries, where these products aren’t used as much as in the US, the number of breast cancer cases is much lower. However, it seems that these claims hold no weight because in Europe, where women don’t apply these products as much, the number of breast cancer cases is much higher than in the US. Additionally, the claim is debunked by the fact that sweat is not the primary source of toxin elimination. There has been a lot of discussion on the topic of aluminum (active ingredient) and parabens (as a preservative) usage in these products, and the connection to the appearance of estrogen-like effects when absorbed by the skin.
This was mainly due to the fact that hormonal imbalances, especially higher estrogen levels contribute to the proliferation of breast cancer cells. The claims only got louder when a study confirmed the presence of parabens in tissue samples from human breast tumors. However, the study couldn’t give proof that parabens were the cause for the breast tumors or that they’re only found in cancerous breast tissue or that the accumulation of paraben was a result of extensive use of these personal hygiene products. This means that there was not enough proof to make a direct link between the two. Additionally, if you have any doubts we can inform you that the majority of deodorant and antiperspirant brands don’t even contain parabens so check if yours do and replace it if you like.
At the moment there’s no proven connection between breast cancer and the use of deodorants or antiperspirants. The main factors are still family history and the use of oral contraceptives. Keep smelling fresh and don’t worry!