The deodorant and cancer link

This is one of the more important health tips on the website. I’d like everyone out there to think about their armpit for a moment. I know, that’s a little strange. We don’t often think about what its functional use is, but what is the role that your armpit plays for your body and how does it impact your health?

Drain your drain

Your armpit is a drain. Your lymphatic system pushes toxins (chemical, viral, bacterial) throughout your body and they end up being removed in your sweat. Most of those toxins are removed from the body via two main drains located underneath our arms. So, what do we do, as Americans who take our health and our bodies for deodorantgranted? We put a thick chemical layer of deodorant on this drain and stop the toxins from coming out. That’s great news if you’re trying not to sweat for a job interview or a first date. But your body doesn’t care about your career or your social life. Your body wants to work the way that it was designed, and when we inhibit our body from doing what it’s supposed to, it will react negatively.

Okay, now think about how close your drains (armpits) are to your breasts. Women especially should be aware that if toxins aren’t able to be removed from the drains, they may end up accumulating in body fat. What is the closest fatty mass on the female body? The breast. This is why many are hypothesizing a link between aluminum in women’s deodorant and breast cancer. The FDA allows 18 different aluminum-based ingredients in our deodorants today.

A 2003 study examined the frequency of underarm shaving and antiperspirant use among over 400 breast cancer survivors and found a younger age at breast cancer diagnosis for women who used deodorants more frequently or who started using them in conjunction with shaving at an earlier age.

The government’s official position on a causal deodorant/cancer link is, “Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research would be needed to determine whether a relationship exists.”

“Because studies of antiperspirants and deodorants and breast cancer have provided conflicting results, additional research would be needed to determine whether a relationship exists.” – Your government, which said similar things about cigarettes until it was too late

The upper right hand quadrant of the breast (that which is closest to the armpit) has seen an abnormally high percentage of breast cancer in recent years. There are four quadrants of the breast, one might expect each quadrant to have 25%. Some argue it’s because there’s more epithelial tissue in that area, but this argument is quickly defeated when you see data that clearly demonstrates an increase in cancers in that quadrant. In other words, the epithelial tissue concentration in our bodies isn’t changing, but deodorant ingredients are, therefore an recent increase in cancers in that specific region of the breast points to environmental factors.

Annual statistics in England show an increase from 47.9% of breast cancers in the upper outer quadrant in 1979 to 53.3% in 2000, and in Scotland an increase from 38.3% to 54.7% in the upper outer quadrant in the 21 years following 1980. A 1971 United States study showed 31% of cancers in the upper-outer quadrant, but that number nearly doubled to 61% by the 1990s.

The aluminum in aerosol deodorants was banned in 1977 by the FDA because of health concerns, but it’s still used in the stick form. After the 1977 ban, deodorant sticks with aluminum started becoming popular and we began to see a dramatic increase in breast cancer in the United States and especially cancers in the upper-outer quadrant.

Mothers who are breastfeeding may want to consider their deodorant choices wisely as well.

The good news is that this video will help you find an alternative to chemical deodorants, and perhaps reduce your risk of breast cancer, while keeping you smelling fresh around the clock.

My favorite deodorant can be purchased by clicking the link/photo below the sources. It’s pricey, but cancer is pretty pricey too! When you purchase through my links, you support the Tonyshealthtips operation.

Sources:; McGrath KG. An earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis related to more frequent use of antiperspirants/deodorants and underarm shaving. European Journal of Cancer 2003; 12(6):479–485. Dieterich M, Stubert J, Reimer T, Erickson N, Berling A. Influence of lifestyle factors on breast cancer risk. Breast Care 2014; 9(6):407-414.; Darbre, Philippa D. “Underarm antiperspirants/deodorants and breast cancer.” Breast cancer research : BCR vol. 11 Suppl 3,Suppl 3 (2009); Haagensen CD. Diseases of the Breast. 2. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 1971. Darbre PD. Underarm cosmetics are a cause of breast cancer. Eur Journal of Cancer Prevention2001;10:389–393. Darbre PD. Underarm cosmetics and breast cancer. J Appl Toxicology. 2003;23:89–95. Darbre PD. Recorded quadrant incidence of female breast cancer in Great Britain suggests a disproportionate increase in the upper outer quadrant of the breast. Anticancer Res2005.



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