Many types of breast cancer can develop close to the armpit area, which raises concerns about the products that we use daily on our skin in this area of the body. Rather than being fearful of the deodorant, lotion, sunscreen or fragrance products that you use, become educated about their ingredients and learn what to avoid the next time you need these items.
Although our skincare and hygiene products are tested for safety, more people are choosing to avoid ingredients that are even remotely associated with cancer. Applying products like deodorant, sunscreen, and body spray to the thin skin of the armpit could provide a way for harmful chemicals to get to the estrogen receptors under our skin.
Cancer can happen in almost every organ and tissue in the human body. Genetic mutations or cellular damage cause changes to our cells which makes them multiply abnormally in tissues and form tumors.
Approximately 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1000 men will get breast cancer within their lifetimes. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women after skin cancer. Although a family history of breast cancer significantly increases the risk of being diagnosed with the disease, approximately 85% of women who are diagnosed have no close relatives with breast cancer.
The focus of much research has been on preventing breast cancer by identifying risk factors that can be eliminated. Armed with the knowledge of what is within our power to control, we can reduce our risk of developing breast cancer by removing the environmental factors that have been linked to the disease.
Avoidable synthetic hormone risks associated with breast cancer
Our natural hormones do wonders for our bodies. Unfortunately, synthetic hormone-like chemicals are found in many products that we use on our bodies; these are harmful to our health and have been associated with increased risk of breast and other cancers.
Numerous synthetic chemicals (called xenoestrogens) act like estrogen in our bodies. Xenestrogens do not biodegrade so they are stored in our fat cells. Estrogenic chemicals that have been found in cosmetic products include:
4-Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC) (found in sunscreen)
Erythrosine / FD&C Red No. 3 (red color)
Phenosulfothiazine (red color)
Parabens are preservatives found in makeup, moisturizers, hair care products, and shaving creams. This cancer-linked chemical can be found on cosmetic product labels in many variations including methylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, and butylparaben.
Researchers found that parabens have been found in the breast tissue of 99% of women who had cancer. Although parabens are no longer found in deodorant products, and parabens were found in the breast tissue of women with cancer who did not use deodorant, the safe bet is to avoid these chemicals in any form.
Phthalates are used in cosmetic products such as nail polish and spray products to help the product hold color and reduce brittleness. Breastcancer.org lists phthalates as a chemical additive that disrupts the balance of other hormones that interact with estrogen, including testosterone.
Most of us use deodorant in our daily hygiene and as we do, we are applying alum or aluminum to our skin. In our products, aluminum appears on labels as Ammoniumÿaluminum sulfate, aluminum chlorohydrate and aluminum zirconium.
Absorption of aluminum salts from deodorant has been inconclusively linked to cancer. One study of 437 women showed that the frequency of deodorant use may in fact play a role in breast cancer. A second study showed little correlation between deodorant and cancer. Again, you might decide that with deodorant, it is better to be safe than sorry.
This Armpit Detox Helps Prevent Breast Cancer
o Cleanse: Use an organic soap to clean your armpit area and remove the products that you have applied to your skin. Discard any suspect products.
o Sweat: Exercise or use a sauna to activate your sweat glands. Sweating does a good job at removing toxins from our bodies. Clean your skin again to remove any surface toxins.
o Drink water: after sweating you need to hydrate your body. The extra water will also help your kidneys to keep flushing and detoxifying your body.
o Eat your greens: Multiple studies have shown that Broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, and other cruciferous veggies are rich in indole-3-carbinol (I3C), which help your body clear out excess estrogens.
o Avoid chemical formulas: Read labels or use the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep app which allows you to type in or scan the barcode of the product you are shopping for. The app assigns a rating from 0 to 10 for the risk factor associated with the product based on its cancer-causing ingredients, allergy-producing ingredients, and risk factors for reproductive harm.
o Make your own chemical-free deodorant: Search for natural alternative recipes for the products that you’ve eliminated. Try a blend of coconut oil, bentonite clay, and your favorite essential oils to create a homemade lotion type of deodorant. Or make a spray solution with natural salt, witch hazel, and a good quality essential oil for natural fragrance.