Breast cancer is the most common type of female cancer found. In 2020, there were 2.3 million new global cases and causing 685,000 deaths. This fact pushed scientists around the world to keep researching the cause, trigger, and proper management for breast cancer.
One that is often cited as the cause is the use of deodorant. Is it true that they cause breast cancer?
Ingredients in Deodorant
Deodorant is assumed to have carcinogenic substances including aluminium and paraben which can be absorbed through the skin especially if there is an open wound from shaving armpit hair. The carcinogens then are accumulated in lymph nodes and cannot be released through sweat because deodorants prevent the sweating process. Carcinogens in high concentration can cause cells to mutate into cancer cells.
The aluminium component in deodorant is assumed to be the cause of cancer because it can be absorbed by the skin and cause changes in estrogen receptors of the breast cells. But the exact amount of absorbed aluminium absorbed is still unknown. Only one study reported 0.012% of absorbed was aluminium. More studies reported that breast cancer tissues do not contain more aluminium compared to the surrounding tissues.
The paraben contents as preservatives has also been reported to mimic the estrogen activity in the body. Parabens are also found in breast tumor but there is no proof that parabens cause breast cancer.
Also Read: Proper Diet for Cancer Patients
Deodorants Cause Breast Cancer: Myth or Fact?
Another opinion is that breast cancer mostly occurs at the upper outer quadrant which is closer to the axilla lymph nodes. Men have lower breast cancer incidence because they do not shave their armpit hair.
The armpit hair can absorb substances from the deodorant. However, the assumptions are not scientifically proven. The location of breast cancer at the upper outer quadrant also was not proven because the upper outer quadrant has the most breast tissue compared to other quadrants.
Because all of the assumptions are not proven scientifically, using deodorant cannot be determined to be the cause of breast cancer. Maintaining personal hygiene and changing clothes regularly can help in reducing body odor beside using deodorant daily.