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Sunscreen and Breast Cancer Risk

I have heard rumors lately that sunscreen can cause breast cancer. Sounds frightening doesn't it? Our tried and true enemy against skin cancer and wrinkling may be an enemy itself? Well, it doesn't seem to be true, but the answer is a little bit more complicated.

Here's the deal: some ultraviolet (UV) filters used in sunscreen may mimic estrogen according to animal and laboratory studies and thereby disrupt the endocrine system. Just to review a little human biology, the endocrine system uses hormones to regulate functions like metabolism, growth and development. However, there is no evidence that human exposure to these types of endocrine disruptors in the low levels used in sunscreen create health problems. In fact, a study using human volunteers found that even though UV filters were absorbed by the skin, they had no effect on the volunteers over all health or hormone levels, even estrogen.

Hopefully more research will be done on this matter. In the mean time, if you are concerned about messing with your endocrine system look for sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (these block the UV rays rather than filter them), since these ingredients are not absorbed by your skin and they don't mimic estrogen.


Join The Conversation
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
exactly, Vexedlovely!
Vexedlovely Vexedlovely 9 years
haven't people realized by now EVERYTHING can give you cancer!
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 9 years
see this is why i spend all day baking int eh sun without lotion... haha - i know i am bad.
koolbr33z3 koolbr33z3 9 years
Yikes! That's really scary. It seems like cancer is everywhere these days.
mizlynz mizlynz 9 years
I never thought sunscreen could be linked to breast cancer. But, everything else seems to be linked to something these days.
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
I use only physical UV filters: clothing, shade etc... and of course only UV sunscreen lotions that do not contain chemical filters, my favourite is Dr Hauschka though it has a bit too much perfume... I am very concerned about protecting my skin and just do enough to get my D vitamins!
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