'No evidence' for breast cancer deodorant link

In collaboration with the Press Association

There is 'no evidence' of a link between deodorant use and breast cancer risk, said Cancer Research UK today.

The statement followed reports of 'raised' aluminium levels in certain samples taken from seventeen breast cancer patients.

The research, published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, showed that aluminium levels were higher in samples from the outer regions of the breast.

But the research did not compare the aluminium levels to those in the rest of the body, nor to samples from people without cancer.

Stories have persisted of a possible deodorant link following an email hoax from the mid-1990s. Various small-scale studies have found that aluminium and other chemicals in deodorant can affect cancer cells in the laboratory.

But data from population studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate that regular deodorant users are at higher risk of breast cancer.

Henry Scowcroft, Cancer Research UK's senior scientific officer, said: "This research examined the distribution of aluminium in breast tissue samples from just 17 women with breast cancer. It did not compare this data with aluminium levels in the rest of their bodies, nor with healthy individuals. As such its findings do not in any way demonstrate that aluminium contained in deodorants can affect breast cancer risk.

"In fact there is no compelling evidence to support this link - studies of large groups of people have failed to show a difference in cancer risk between people who use deodorant and people who don't.

"Breast cancers are indeed more common in the upper outer region of the breast. But this is unlikely to be because this is the region sprayed by deodorants, and almost certainly because this area contains the most breast tissue."