Deodorant link to breast cancer

Thursday, 22 April, 2004

New evidence of a possible link between anti-perspirants and breast cancer has emerged.

Scientists found chemicals called parabens, used as preservatives in the underarm products, in cancerous breast tumours.

The lead author of the report urged women to cut down on or stop using deodorants and anti-perspirants altogether. Dr Phillippa Darbre said the research added to growing evidence of a link between increasing rates of the disease and the huge market for underarm sprays and roll-ons.

But cosmetics makers and cancer charities said there was no proof of the threat and called for further research. "My advice is to cut down or cut out," said Dr Darbre, a breast cancer specialist at the University of Reading, England. "I would love to see women with a family history of breast cancer stop using them as a precautionary measure. "It's going to be very difficult to prove that underarm cosmetics are a cause of breast cancer, but this is another piece in the jigsaw."

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