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Circulating Warning Claims Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer

Outline
Long circulated message claims that antiperspirants are the leading cause of breast cancer because they stop toxins from being removed in sweat and instead deposit the toxins in the lymph nodes.

After shower | Stock Photo

© Depositphotos.com/ Maksim Toome



Brief Analysis
There is no conclusive research that links antiperspirant use and breast cancer. Research on the issue has provided some conflicting results and more research is required.  However, the claims in the message are misleading and inaccurate.  Sweating does not removed toxins as claimed in the message. The suggestion that nearly all breast cancer tumours occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast close to underarm lymph nodes is also not accurate.

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Examples

A MUST READ..!!

This is a vital information - literally of life and death - Be sure to read it and send it to those who appreciate it.

WATER AND SOAP IN ARMPIT BEFORE BEDTIME
We spend the night with clean and underarm deodorant, to be a free breathing time the armpit.

Some time ago, I went to a seminar on Breast Cancer, led by Terry Birk with support from Dan Sullivan.

During the discussion, asked why the most common reason for developing breast cancer tumors is near the armpit.

My question could not be answered at that time.
This information was sent to me recently, and I'm glad it has been answered.
I informed a friend who is undergoing chemotherapy and she said that I had this information, obtained in a support group that frequents ...
Now I want to share information with you.! The main cause of Breast Cancer
is the use of anti-perspirant!

Most products on the market are a combination of anti-perspirant/deodorants.
Look at the labels!
Deodorant is fine,
ANTI-PERSPIRANT, NO.
The concentration of toxins causes
cell mutation:
CANCER. Here's why:

The human body is just a few areas where it can eliminate toxins: behind the knees, behind the ears, the English area and armpits.
Toxins are eliminated through perspiration.
The anti-perspirant, as the name says, prevents you from perspiring, thereby inhibiting the body to eliminate toxins through the armpits.
These toxins do not magically disappear.

As not come with sweat, the organism ta deposited in the lymph glands found under the arms.
Most breast cancers occur in the upper outside quadrant of the breast area.
Precisely where are the glands in men seems to occur to a lesser extent, but are not exempt from
Breast Cancer develop because of the anti-perspirant used instead of soap and water.
The difference lies in the fact that when men use anti-perspirant, not applied directly to the skin, they do so in large part on the hair of the armpits.

Women who apply antiperspirant or aftershave shaving the underarms, increase the risk due to tiny injuries and skin irritations which make harmful chemical components to penetrate more quickly into the body,

Please pass this infornación everyone ...
Breast Cancer is becoming frighteningly common and this warning may save some lives.
If somehow doubt this information, they can make their own investigations

They'll probably come to the same conclusion.


Subject: breast cancer -- please read and pass on! 


I'm forwarding this to everyone I know because it makes so much 
sense. Please forward it to everyone you care about and even those 
you don't. Ladies - some awareness! Gentlemen - pass on to the ladies 
in your life! 

Some time ago, I attended a Breast Cancer Awareness seminar put on by 
Terry Birk with support from Dan Sullivan. During the Q & A period, I 
asked why the most common are for breast cancer was near the armpit. 
My question could not be answered at that time. 

This email was just sent to me, and I find it interesting that my 
question has been answered. I challenge you all to re-think your 
every day use of a product that could ultimately lead to a terminal 
illness. As of today, I will change my use. A friend forwarded this 
to me. I showed it to a friend going through chemotherapy and she 
said she learned this fact in a support group recently. I wish I had 
known it 14 years ago. 

The leading cause of breast cancer is the use of anti-perspirant. 

A concentration of toxins can lead to cell mutations a.k.a. CANCER. 
The human body has a few areas that it uses to purge toxins: behind 
the knees, behind the ears, groin area and armpits. The toxins are 
purged in the form of perspiration. Anti-perspirant, as the name 
clearly indicates, prevents you from perspiring, thereby inhibiting 
the body from purging toxins from below the armpits. 

These toxins do not just magically disappear. Instead, the body 
deposits them in the lymph nodes below the arms since it cannot sweat 
them out. 

Nearly all breast cancer tumors occur in the upper outside quadrant 
of the breast area. This is precisely where the lymph nodes are 
located. Additionally, men are less likely (but not completely 
exempt) to develop breast cancer prompted by anti-perspirant usage 
because most of the anti-perspirant product is caught in their hair 
and is not directly applied to the skin. 

Women who apply anti-perspirant right after shaving increase the risk 
further because shaving causes almost imperceptible nicks in the skin 
which give the chemicals entrance into the body from the armpit area. 

Most of the products out there are anti-perspirant/deodorant 
combinations, so go home and check!! Deodorant is fine, 
anti-perspirant is not!! 

Please pass this along to anyone you care about. Breast cancer is 
becoming frighteningly common. This awareness may save lives. If you 
are skeptical about these findings, I urge you to do some research 
for yourself. You will arrive at the same conclusions, I assure you. 

Katrina Scott 

Asst. Director of Sports Marketing 
University of Maryland

Detailed Analysis


Versions of this message, which claims that antiperspirants cause breast cancer, have been circulating since at least 1999. The messages make the following main claims:

1: Antiperspirants are the leading cause of breast cancer

2: The human body purges toxins through sweating. Because antiperspirants stop sweating, these toxins are not purged from the armpits when antiperspirants are used.

3: Nearly all breast cancer tumours occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast close to underarm lymph nodes.

Scientific studies so far conducted into links between breast cancer and antiperspirant use have provided some conflicting results. Further research on the issue is therefore required. However, there is no conclusive research that supports a link between breast cancer and the use of antiperspirants.

Moreover, the claims in the message are misleading and inaccurate. These claims are addressed in turn below.

1: Antiperspirants are the main cause of breast cancer.
This assertion is false. Information about the claims on the American Cancer Society website notes:

Do antiperspirants increase a person's risk of breast cancer?
There are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim.

In fact, a carefully designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.

A study published in 2003 looked at responses from questionnaires sent out to women who had breast cancer. The researcher reported that women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age said they used antiperspirant and started shaving their underarms earlier and shaved more often than women who were diagnosed when they were older. But the study design did not include a control group of women without breast cancer and has been criticized by experts as not relevant to the safety of these underarm hygiene practices.

Probably, in general, younger women are more likely than older women to shave their underarms and use antiperspirants, whether or not they develop breast cancer later. For instance, most women born in the 1950s and 1960s may have started shaving earlier and using antiperspirants more often than women born in the 1930s and 1940s. Many women may also shave and use antiperspirants less often as they get older. These are more likely explanations of the researcher's findings than the suggestion that these practices cause cancer. Of note, the study asked about underarm products that the women were using at the time the questions were answered, not what they used before they developed breast cancer.

Other medical experts concur. The Susan G. Komen website states:

[T]here have been reports of concern that chemicals found in deodorants and antiperspirants could penetrate the skin of the underarm and cause harm. Although there have only been a few studies looking at use of these products and breast cancer risk, the research to date doesn't support a link between the two. The largest study, which included more than 800 women with breast cancer, showed no increase in risk from use of either deodorant or antiperspirant. It also showed no increase in risk among women who shaved with a razor prior to applying deodorant or antiperspirant. Given these data and the lack of a biologic mechanism, it does not appear likely that use of these products increases the risk of breast cancer.

And, the National Cancer Institute explains:

…. researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a part of the National Institutes of Health, are not aware of any conclusive evidence linking the use of underarm antiperspirants or deodorants and the subsequent development of breast cancer. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates food, cosmetics, medicines, and medical devices, also does not have any evidence or research data that ingredients in underarm antiperspirants or deodorants cause cancer.
In fact, there are a number of risk factors for breast cancer.  Even if further research did indicate a possible link between breast cancer and antiperspirant use, the claim that antiperspirants are the leading cause of breast cancer is clearly untrue. 

Concept image of health, breast cancer awareness

© Depositphotos.com/ Daria Solomennikova

2: The human body purges toxins through sweating. Because antiperspirants stop sweating, these toxins are not purged from the armpits when antiperspirants are used.

This claim is also untrue. Minimal amounts of toxins – if any – are removed via sweating. Kristie Leong M.D. notes:
Sweating is a mechanism the body uses to release heat. If you were to analyze sweat in the laboratory, you would find it consists mostly of water with small amounts of minerals, such as sodium and chloride, lactate and urea. Sweat may contain tiny amounts of lead along with other trace metals, but this amount is small enough to be almost insignificant. Toxins from any source can't be removed by sweating.
University of Arkansas Medical Sciences concurs, noting:
Sweat is 99% water combined with a small amount of salt, proteins, carbohydrates and urea, says UAMS family medicine physician Dr. Charles Smith. Therefore, sweat is not made up of toxins from your body, and the belief that sweat can cleanse the body is a myth.

"You cannot sweat toxins out of the body," Dr. Smith says. "Toxins such as mercury, alcohol and most drugs are eliminated by your liver, intestines or kidneys."

And the American Cancer Society explains:

Lymph nodes help clear out bacteria, viruses, and other possible threats to the body, but the lymph nodes do not release waste or toxins through sweating. In fact, lymph nodes are not connected to sweat glands. Sweat glands are located in the skin, not in the lymph nodes. Most cancer-causing substances that enter the body are removed from the blood by the kidneys and by the liver.
3: Nearly all breast cancer tumours occur in the upper outer quadrant of the breast close to underarm lymph nodes

This statement is also inaccurate and misleading. The American Cancer Society further explains:
Lymph nodes can be found throughout the breasts and have an important role. The underarm (axillary) nodes filter most of the liquid lymph flowing out of the breast before it goes back into the body's bloodstream. These nodes are under the arm, in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, and near the collarbone.

The breast quadrants are not actually all the same size. About half of all breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, probably because there is more breast tissue in this area. The number of breast cancers in the upper outer part of the breast is in proportion to the amount of breast tissue in that area.
There is no evidence to suggest that the location of cancers within the breast is related to using antiperspirants or underarm shaving.

Although the message does not explicitly mention Parabens and aluminium salts, concerns have been raised about possible links between these substances and cancer. However, studies have not established any clear link. Cancer research UK notes:

In 2008 the results were published of an overview of 19 studies looking into whether parabens and aluminium salts could cause breast cancer. Parabens and aluminium salts are found in many cosmetics and underarm deodorants. The researchers found no evidence that parabens or aluminium salts cause breast cancer.

The National Cancer Institute also discusses parabens and concludes:

Other studies have found some form of parabens in the urine of about 99% of US adults. This would suggest that people are getting parabens from more than one source. But so far, studies have not shown any direct link between parabens and any health problems, including breast cancer. There are also many other compounds in the environment that mimic naturally-produced estrogen.
The rather strange wording and grammar in the newest version of the message suggests that it may have been first translated to another language and then retranslated back to English.

It is important that would-be health advisories that circulate via the Internet are thoroughly verified before sharing them.  Sending on flawed and misleading health related messages is counterproductive. Even messages that originally contained elements of truth can quickly become outdated or corrupted with false information.

The bottom line? Don't rely on unverified and unreferenced email or social media messages for health advice. Get health information from qualified medical professionals or credible medical and scientific resources.

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Last updated: July 26, 2013
First published: July 26, 2013
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer Risk
Do plastics, body care products or deodorant play a role in breast cancer risk?
Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Breast Cancer
Does Sweating Remove Toxins from the Body?
Can you sweat toxins out of your body?
Deodorants and cancer




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