Little scientific link between deodorant and cancer, says Cancer Research UK

In collaboration with the Press Association

There is little scientific evidence to suggest that deodorants are linked to breast cancer, Cancer Research UK has said.

"We are bombarded with messages about cancer by the media and it can be hard for the public to tell which to believe," said Dr Kat Arney of Cancer Research UK.

"In the case of deodorants and breast cancer, there is little scientific evidence to link the two," she added.

The charity was responding to recent research which suggested aluminium-based compounds in deodorants could break through the skin and "mimic" the female hormone oestrogen.

Changes in levels of oestrogen over a woman?s lifetime are thought to affect breast cancer risk.

"This paper does not present any new data to show that these products can cause cancer, but suggests that more work should be done," said Dr Arney

"However, studies have already shown that using deodorant or anti-perspirant, with or without armpit shaving, does not increase the risk of breast cancer.

"In addition, other researchers have not found a significant link between the chemicals in these products and breast cancer," she added.

The main risk factors for breast cancer are age, reproductive history and a strong family history of the disease.

Excessive alcohol, use of some types of hormone replacement therapy, and being overweight after the menopause are other known risk factors, said Cancer Research UK.

Breast cancer is the most common form of the disease in the UK and is the leading cause of death among women aged between 34 and 54 years old. Almost 42,000 new cases are diagnosed every year.

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