Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Deodorant and Breast Cancer

Something to think about! Read and judge for yourself. I just ran across this article on ThirdAge, a Health and Wellness Site.

Before you read the article I want to mention that Watkins Aloe and Green Tea Deodorant does not contain aluminum. It uses natural coriander and sage extracts to help tighten pores and eliminate body odor without the irritation and drying of antiperspirant products. Pure aloe vera gel and antioxidant green tea extract keeps skin soft and healthy. More detailed product information here:

New research suggests that the aluminium in many anti-perspirants has a potential link with breast cancer. Here, a leading breast cancer specialist explains why he suggests avoiding the products.

Women who have had breast cancer should consider not using antiperspirants or deodorants. And healthy women should think twice about it, especially those with a strong history family history or other risk factors.

This might sound surprising, as we know fruit and vegetables can help keep cancer at bay. But the irony is that women who are particularly diligent about eating enough fruit and vegetables then cover their armpits every day with chemicals that mimic estrogen, the cancer-promoting hormone.

Though a direct link with cancer has not been established, my view on deodorants is based on the available evidence and informed common sense.

A recent study at Keele University found that the aluminium salts used to block the pores so you don't perspire can get into breast tissue.

Worryingly, these salts are more concentrated in the areas of the breast where cancer is more likely to develop ... on the side and towards the armpit.

This study follows on from one done two years ago at the University of Reading, which showed aluminium salts can behave like estrogen in the body.

This study also found that the preservative parabens used in these products have also been found in breast cancers.

Another part of the jigsaw came from a U.S. researcher, who has found that the more often women use anti-perspirants or deodorants (which make you smell nice without blocking the sweating) and shave their armpits, the earlier cancer is likely to appear.

What all this suggests is that using these products may make breast cancer more likely.

I'm very much aware there is no clear proof anti-perspirants or deodorants cause cancer, but with one in nine women developing the disease, it seems sensible to be cautious and not take unnecessary risks.

Of course, industry commentators such as the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association dismiss this latest research and claim there is no evidence for a link between breast cancer and anti-perspirants.

But I say: Why take the risk? We are surrounded by carcinogens and we can handle a certain amount, so the sensible thing is not to add to your exposure unnecessarily.

The point about deodorants is that once you get into the habit, you are going to use them every day for years, which means you build up a lot of exposure to a potential carcinogen.

By Jerome Burne, M.D.

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