Deodorant and Cancer: Is There a Link?
The potential link between deodorants and breast cancer has been discussed and investigated for years, recently gaining steam again as warnings circulated via email and social media. But before you throw out your favorite brand of antiperspirant, it’s important to understand the complete story.
Much of the concern about deodorant and breast cancer risk surrounds parabens — synthetic substances found in many antiperspirants that can be absorbed into the skin and bloodstream. Parabens are nearly impossible to avoid — according to Scientific American, 90 percent of grocery products contain them.
In a study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, researchers examined breast tissue from 40 women with a history of breast cancer and discovered parabens in 99 percent of tissue samples. In another study, researchers combined breast cancer cells, parabens, and an additional chemical in a laboratory setting and observed cancer cell growth.
But the research does not show a direct link between deodorant and breast cancer, and experts say that common levels of parabens are too low to cause cancer. If you're still nervous about using deodorants, you may want to consider switching to natural products that don't contain parabens.