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January 16, 2012
A few days ago the information about the risks of using some deodorants, antiperspirants, face creams and other cosmetic products containing parabens, a germ-fighting preservative used in toiletry products, pharmaceuticals and even some food products, appeared in many online newspapers and magazines. For many years, scientists around the world have been studying possible connections between these chemical compounds and breast cancer, one of the most common and deadly types of cancer. It was found out that parabens can mimic the action of oestrogen, female hormones, and thus play a role in breast cancer development.
There was a very important factor which made the researchers go on their studies and learn more about the activities of parabens. It is known that the most number of tumors in those women who suffer from breast cancer, occur in the underarm area. That is why the chemical content and the actions of such cosmetic products as antiperspirants and deodorants were thoroughly studied. A group of scientists from the University of Reading analyzed about 160 tissue samples of 40 women with breast cancer, and it was found out that 99 per cent of tumors contain at least 1 type of parabens. At that, 60 per cent of tissue samples had up to 5 types of parabens.
One should understand the findings as a sign of parabens being responsible for breast cancer development. However, it is too early to come to such conclusions. An interesting fact is that according to Dr Philippa Darbre, a cancer researcher at the University of Reading, seven of the forty women whose tissue samples were analyzed have said that they have never used any type of underarm products. It seems that those women received parabenes like propylparaben, butylparaben, benzylparaben, methylparaben, and other para-hydroxybenzoic chemical compounds from other sources.
The debates about the connections between breast cancer and parabens is currently unfolding, and many of us are asking the question, can deodorant ingredient be a cause of breast cancer? ‘The fact that parabens were detected in the majority of the breast tissue samples cannot be taken to imply that they actually caused breast cancer in the 40 women studied,’ Dr. Darbre said. He underlines that there is not persuasive evidence of the fact, and further research is necessary to determining cause-effect relations. At the same time, Dr. Darbre believes that cutting down using modern cosmetic products can be useful. ‘We simply use too much in the modern world – too much for our body systems and too much for the wider environment,’ she said.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.