The information that follows will be much different from what is often spouted from anti-cancer organizations like the American Cancer Society (ACS), as — unlike ACS — I have no financial ties to both makers of mammography equipment and cancer drugs.
My advice for cancer prevention is much more straightforward, involving simple lifestyle strategies that virtually everyone has the power to make.
All you need to become empowered to make these cancer-preventive changes is knowledge, and that is what I seek to give you by the time you finish reading this comment … I suggest you not only learn this information for your own benefit, but also share it with other women in your life as well.
Using the Wrong Antiperspirant May Influence Your Breast Cancer Risk
Putting on antiperspirant is a routine part of most people’s day, and you may not think much about it. But here’s why you should: if you use one containing aluminum, you could be increasing your risk of breast cancer.
Antiperspirants work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores that release sweat under your arms — with the active ingredient being aluminum. Not only does this block one of your body’s routes for detoxification (releasing toxins via your underarm sweat), but it raises concerns about where these metals are going once you roll them (or spray them) on.
Research, including one study published this year in the Journal of Applied Toxicology, has shown that the aluminum is not only absorbed by your body, but is deposited in your breast tissue and even can be found in nipple aspirate fluid a fluid present in the breast duct tree that mirrors the microenvironment in your breast. Researchers determined that the mean level of aluminum in nipple aspirate fluid was significantly higher in breast cancer-affected women compared to healthy women, which may suggest a role for raised levels of aluminum as a biomarker for identification of women at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Cancer-Causing Aluminum From Antiperspirant May Collect in Your Breasts
In a 2007 study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, researchers tested breast samples from 17 breast-cancer patients who had undergone mastectomies. The women who used antiperspirants had deposits of aluminum in their outer breast tissue. Concentrations of aluminum were higher in the tissue closest to the underarm than in the central breast.
Why is this a glaring red flag?
Aluminum is not normally found in the human body, so this study was a pretty clear sign that the metal was being absorbed from antiperspirant sprays and roll-ons. Please note that aluminum is typically only found in antiperspirants. If you are using a deodorant-only product it is unlikely to contain aluminum but might contain other chemicals that could be a concern.
Aluminum salts can account for 25 percent of the volume of some antiperspirants, and a review of the common sources of aluminum exposure for humans found that antiperspirant use can significantly increase the amount of aluminum absorbed by your body. According to the review, after a single underarm application of antiperspirant, about .012 percent of the aluminum may be absorbed.
This may not sound like much until you multiply it by one or more times a day for a lifetime, which adds up to massive exposure to aluminum — a poison that is not supposed to be in your body, and may be more toxic than mercury. Aluminum salts can mimic the hormone estrogen, and chemicals that imitate that hormone are known to increase breast cancer risk. Animal studies have also found that aluminum can cause cancer. Aside from vaccinations, your antiperspirant may be your largest source of exposure to this poisonous metal!
You Need to be Careful with Natural Deodorants, Too
There are many brands of chemical-free, aluminum-free deodorants on the market, and many of these are safe alternatives. And as a general rule, deodorants tend to be less problematic than antiperspirants, as they work by neutralizing the smell of your sweat and by antiseptic action against bacteria, rather than by preventing sweating. As such, some deodorants do not contain any aluminum, but you’ve got to be careful about this. While many claim to be aluminum-free, they are referring to aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum chloride, aluminum hydroxybromide or aluminum zirconium, which are the types most commonly used in antiperspirants and deodorants.
“Crystal” deodorant stones, which are a popular natural deodorant alternative often used by health-conscious shoppers looking to avoid aluminum, often claim to be aluminum-free, but some actually contain a different type of compound known as an alum, the most common form being potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.
Potassium Alum or Ammonium Alum are natural mineral salts made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin. They form a protective layer on your skin that inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers, but while this may be a better alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market, it is not completely aluminum-free.
So be sure, when choosing a natural deodorant alternative, that it truly is made of toxin-free ingredients. Aluminum is just one of them — you can find other chemical toxins to avoid in your personal care products here. Alternatively, just use plain soap and water. This is what I use, typically in the morning and after I exercise.
Additionally, last year I found an ever more effective strategy and that is to expose your armpits to sunshine. Essentially you tan your armpits. The UVB rays in the sunlight are highly effective germicidal agents and sterilize your armpits in addition to raising your levels of vitamin D sulfate to healthy levels.
This article and information was taken from Dr. Mercola’s website. Although I found this article to contain very useful and helpful information please remember this is an opinion of one doctor.
Dr. Marcola has very useful information on his website with regards to many health issues, but he also expresses strong opinions which are sometimes negative. I believe that knowledge plus action equals power, however when information is presented in a negative way, we sometimes seem to deem it less important. Please consider this to be educational information and be sure to qualify any conflicts this may have with your personal opinions.
Your feedback is very important. Please feel free to share ideas, suggestions and/or thoughts in the comment area.