Does Using Deodorants Raise Breast Cancer Risk?

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MACRAE

USING a deodorant may increase the risk of breast cancer, a scientist claimed last night.

Molecular biologist Dr Phillipa Darbre said the problem was aluminium compounds, which block sweat glands and are used in almost all spray and roll- on deodorants.

Laboratory tests have shown that they have the same effect on the body's cells as the sex hormone oestrogen, which is known to help cancers grow.

Writing in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, the Reading University researcher said it was possible the compounds could pass through the skin and, once inside the body, mimic the effect of oestrogen.

She pointed out that deodorants are often sprayed into the armpits - concentrating exposure near the breast - and applied after shaving, when nicks and cuts could help the compounds penetrate the skin.

She advised women to cut down or cut out using deodorants.

But other experts were swift to point out that Dr Darbre has no firm proof.

Leading toxicologist Professor Alan Boobis, of Imperial College, London, said research had failed to find any link between aluminium compounds and cancer.

Cancer charities also stressed that no one had yet shown that deodorants can cause cancer.

Liz Carroll, of Breast Cancer Care, said: 'Breast Cancer Care always welcomes new research into lifestyle and environmental factors, where much still needs to be learned. …