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Concern Over Deodorants & Breast Cancer

Now it appears that the urban legend that antiperspirants have been identified as the leading cause of breast cancer may actually have some truth to it. Two years ago, a study found no such connection among patients at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Last week a Chicago allergist says that study didn't go far enough. He believes the culprits in these antiperspirants are the toxins in aluminum salts such as aluminum chlorohydrate. He says they don't normally penetrate the skin enough to cause a problem--unless the skin is shaven. If you disrupt the skin by shaving, it can open up the door, because just under the skin is the lymphatic system, which, as we all know, is connected to the breast. In this study, more than 400 Chicago-area breast cancer survivors recalled their lifetime history of using antiperspirants and underarm shaving. Now British researchers have found traces of chemicals called parabens in tissue taken from women with breast cancer. These researchers published a study last year in the Journal of Toxicology that suggested underarm cosmetics might be a cause of breast cancer. It is unclear how valid this proposed mechanism is, but it would sure seem safe to avoid all antiperspirants AND deodorants just to be safe.

I personally have not used any antiperspirants or deodorants for over 20 years. If you ever noticed a nasty underarm stain on your clothes, get a hint--it is NOT your sweat that is causing the stain, it is the chemicals in the products you are using under your arms. Simple soap and water has served me quite well for the last two decades, and I don't ever recall anyone telling me I had an offensive order. Get a clue and avoid the chemicals, save some money, prolong your life and drop the underarm chemicals.

BBC News January 11, 2004

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