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The Great Debate: Does Antiperspirant Cause Breast Cancer?

There has been much speculation about antiperspirant being linked to breast cancer. While no scientific evidence has been found to validate such claims, it certainly has people thinking more about their choices in how to banish their B.O. Let's get down to the stink of things, shall we?

First thing's first: Deodorant is an antiseptic enhanced fragrance that kills the odorous bacteria in your sweat. Antiperspirants work to block the pores in your sweat glands so that you don't perspire; ergo, you don't emit body odor. They contain paba, aluminum compounds and parabens, which mimic estrogen (and estrogen promotes the growth of cancerous cells in the breast). These chemicals can get into your blood stream through razor nicks in your armpits.

While studies have found parabens in breast cancer samples, there is no hard evidence that using antiperspirants leads to breast cancer.

The choice is yours to make. For anyone who worries about breast cancer, it is important to get regular mammograms, eat right, exercise and control your stress level. For those of you who choose to wean yourselves off of any controversial deodorants or antiperspirants (products are often a combination of the two), here are four safe and natural alternatives to antiperspirants. Although they aren't going to keep you from sweating, they will help mask your special odor. Plus, you might be surprised to find out that even with a deodorant, you don't sweat all that often in the first place.


janellethechef janellethechef 9 years
I sweat like crazy! I've always thought it was my high metabolism. I end up with awful sweat stains even when using the "clinical strength" antiperspirants in the middle of winter! Are there any natural options for someone like myself?
brittanyk brittanyk 9 years
I don't have any history of breast cancer in my family, so it's not a really high concern for me. I'm not really worried about my antiperspirant causing breast cancer, if they make a strong scientific link someday, then I'll change. Until then..I'm going to continue to wear Degree.
netty82 netty82 9 years
People don't realize how many dangerous ingredients get absorbed into our skin everyday with the use of skin care/personal care products. I've always heard, if you can't eat it, don't put it on your skin. I use the Crystalux Deodorant Stick. You wet the stick and then apply it to your skin. I still sweat, but there is no odor whatsoever. My husband uses it also (not the same stick, lol) and he doesn't stink, even after working out!
the-makeup-blogette the-makeup-blogette 9 years
two words. ORIGINS NO-OFFENSE. It is natural and contains none of the toxic stuff.
emalove emalove 9 years
I've been hearing this for years...I'm not sure how much I believe it. I guess when there's some scientific studies to back it up, I'll make a switch.
Leanne1078 Leanne1078 9 years
There isn't any hard evidence to prove that antiperspirant may cause cancer, but there is a hell of a lot that aluminum is linked to Alzeihemers, Parkinsons, etc. What people need to understand is that the smell you have is not seeping out of your pores--it is the sweat reacting with bacteria that lives on your skin. If you kill the bacteria, you kill the smell. I have used natural deodorants for years and I swear by them. I never smell at all, even though I may get a little sweaty now and then. I would never use a product whose purpose is to block my pores so my natural body functions would stop working. Doesn't make sense.
linday_love linday_love 9 years
omg thank you
superjules superjules 9 years
I know Americans thrive on fear but this whole "antiperspirant causes breast cancer" thing is a myth. There's no scientific data that supports this theory. In fact I've seen more doctors and scientists on the news debunking this whole mess. By all means, put whatever you want under your arms but worry about things that deserve your concern. Iraq, the election, the economy. These are just suggestions, feel free to come up with your own.
audreyxoxo audreyxoxo 9 years
i dont have a history of breast cancer in my family. does that still mean that i should be wary of parabens?
sjj158 sjj158 9 years
Sorry to sound like a b*tch but people who say they don't worry about cancer, or breast cancer, need to get a clue. 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. Even if there is no history in your family you should be aware of the dangers and get tested regularly. Plenty of people have gotten cancer with no history in their families, mine included. I'm not saying to jump on every bandwagon that says something will give you cancer but don't be stupid, either. I hope you never have to know or see someone who has suffered or died of cancer because it's agonizingly painful to see the suffering. Personally I try to stay away from products that have been shown to cause cancer, but I'm not a fanatic about it. I try to maintain a healthy weight and diet and exercise regularly which is PROVEN to help fight cancer causing agents.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Actually, it is proven long time ago that our skin absorbs quite effectively what we put on it. Bella even did a story on that a while back, about cosmetics.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
Also, natural deodorants are more easy going on your clothes; so they stay better for longer. And you can spray the mineral salts directly on your clothes or shoes/socks to keep odor away.
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 9 years
Breast cancer is always a concern... but I think women need to be more aware of heart disease. Which is our number one killer. There is a better chance of surviving cancer if caught early, but you only have one heart. As far as the deoderant theory that it causes cancer, I feel there is alot more in our environment causing cancer and I don't feel that deo is a huge culprit. There is no way that that much of it gets into your bloodstream through your armpit. People used to think the earth was square until proven otherwise, so I'm sure this rumor will continue to grow.
trésjolie1 trésjolie1 9 years
I've gone all natural, also in the armpit region, and it works great for me! I use Crystal, the mineral salt, but in the liquid version. I like the spray and the roll-on equally well. I spray it on after showering, and if I need to clean up at night (going out), then I do a cat wash and slap on some Toms of Maine in Lemongrass. Really works great. In the beginning you might feel as if it's not working for you, but it is usually just your body adjusting to the new (and better for you body IMO) regime. is really good for checking these products out.
bailaoragaditana bailaoragaditana 9 years
To be honest, I'm not worried about breast cancer. There's no history of any cancer in my family, at all, and most members of my family thus far have lived well into their nineties with no more health problems than the usual ones of old age. I highly doubt that using deodorant/antiperspirant will cause me to get cancer, as it has yet to affect my mother or my grandmothers or great-aunts or cousins... I'll take my chances and smell clean and be sweat-free.
invazngirl invazngirl 9 years
for something easy to find (you can find it at about any drugstore) try . i've used it for a few months now and it's great! the first few days it doesn't work that well, but after the first three days, just put it on after shower, swipe 15 times or so under each under arm while it's still wet, and it's perfect. i switch before because i didn't like how the fragranced deodorants mix with my own smell and it was gross. with this i just don't smell like ANYTHING.
sjj158 sjj158 9 years
Has anyone used the L'Occitane lemon verbena one? That has no aluminum, I think, and have read it works well
gabiushka gabiushka 9 years
Hello! We are supposed to sweat no matter how nasty it may feel.
missy-k missy-k 9 years
There's a little feature here about a new natural deodorant called Xynergy Deodorant Stone: As far as I know, no natural deodorant can actually stop you from sweating - they can only kill the bacteria which makes sweat smell!
doogirl doogirl 9 years
I've always heard that the aluminum in antiperspirants can lead to Alzheimer's Disease. The way it sounds, I may be better off with one of those natural products. But I really really like the way my Degree works for me. It's a toss up!
jewelryjenko jewelryjenko 9 years
I use Crystalux Spray Deodorant. It is amazing and totally eliminates oder (anywhere you spray it!). I still have dampness on really hot days, but no smell at all (and minimal dampness in the winter). It is the best!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
My mom believe in this and makes her own out of corn starch and a few other things. She swears by it.
rgrl rgrl 9 years
I use the Tom's of Maine one and am pleased with it. But sometimes (when my chances of sweating are higher) I still use Mitchum and love it.
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