Are Antiperspirants Really Linked to Breast Cancer?
A lot of articles and videos exist on the internet, warning people against the use of antiperspirants because they allegedly cause breast cancer. Since word travels so fast on the internet, everyone seems to believe that these articles are true, and they regard this information as a scientific fact.
Even though it’s good to practice self-care and to stay away from things that could potentially harm us; we can’t always believe the internet! We need to make sure that the information is correct. So, are antiperspirants really linked to breast cancer?
How does breast cancer work?
Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in the breasts. Usually cell growth and division is a process that’s well-controlled. In the case of a cancer, anarchy develops in a tissue and cells begin to grow frantically.
The rapid growth of breast cancer cells is stimulated by a hormone called oestrogen. Indeed, the more oestrogen fixed on receptors, the more chance of developing breast cancer. When cell DNA is altered, it can also cause cancer.
How do antiperspirants work?
Antiperspirants contain Aluminum compounds, which are the key element for stopping sweating. When applied to the armpits, these aluminum compounds block sweat ducts, which stops the sweat from reaching the skin. With prolonged use, these aluminum compounds can cumulate in the armpit tissue.
How can antiperspirants cause breast cancer?
Now that we have explained some scientific facts regarding breast cancer and antiperspirants, we can begin to understand the potential cancer causing properties of antiperspirants.
- Researchers have observed that over the last decade, the use of antiperspirants has significantly increased, and so has the incidence of breast cancer.
- Researchers have also observed that most breast cancer tumors were located in the outer region of the breast, close to the armpit.
- These observations have led to the stipulation that antiperspirants cause breast cancer. Scientifically, this can be explained by two theories:
- Aluminum compounds are mistaken for oestrogen. Indeed, they are even called Metaloestrogens which means that receptors recognize them as oestrogen. And do you remember? We said that the more oestrogen or oestrogen-like substance fixated on the receptors, the more chances of developing breast cancer.
- Aluminum compounds are also said to be genotoxic, which means toxic to the genome (DNA). The presence of aluminum compounds in the breast tissue can modify and alter DNA in breast cells, making them unstable and capable of uncontrolled growth.
Do antiperspirants really cause breast cancer?
The truth is, we don’t know! Neither do researchers and scientists. And neither do the people on the internet who swear that antiperspirants cause breast cancer. Because to date; no scientific study has been able to prove the direct link between antiperspirant use and breast cancer development.
So it’s okay to want to be safe and avoid using antiperspirants, but it’s wrong to affirm that antiperspirants cause breast cancer.