Antiperspirants are used by millions, if not billions of people worldwide. They are generally used to combat body odour and prevent underarm perspiration. However, antiperspirants contain many chemicals, whether you chose to use the gel based application, the solid bar product or the widely used aerosol spray.
What many people are unaware of is the fact that some antiperspirants are aluminum-based and aluminum is a non-essential metal in the human body, since it is permeable to the skin and can easily be absorbed. This being the case, scientists have questioned whether or not there is a correlation between the constant use of aluminum-based antiperspirants and the growing number of women developing breast cancer..
Since ‘breast cancer is the most common malignancy found in women and the leading cause of death among women aged 35-54, there may be a relationship between breast cancer and aluminum. The daily application of antiperspirant could result in the presence of aluminium in underarm tissue and the surrounding areas but there has been almost no data or research on the topic until recently.
There are a few potential factors that can cause breast cancer, including genetics and environmental factors; however the root cause of the disease is still unknown.
Dr. Christopher Exley, a scientist funded by the Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, has recently conducted a study focusing on 17 women with breast cancer from the UK. Upon studying the patient’s cancerous breast tissues, he discovered that an alarming number of the women had traces of aluminum within the tissues.
Each patient in the study underwent a mastectomy and biopsies were taken from four different regions of the breast, the outer (axilla and lateral) and the inner (middle and medial). Upon examination of the breast tissues, aluminum content was identified in each region but no significant differences were found in the concentrations of aluminum. However, there were clear trends within each of the individual’s breast tissue that indicated the distribution of aluminium, across the breast.
After collecting the data, a matched-pair analysis showed that the aluminum concentration was not evenly distributed and the aluminum found in the outer breast region was significantly higher than the inner breast region. This analysis may be linked to the daily underarm use of aluminum-based antiperspirants because a higher concentration of aluminium was discovered near the outer breast tissue.
In the study, Dr. Exley was able to confirm the presence of aluminum in the cancerous breast tissue and its possible regional distribution within the breast. “Higher content of aluminum in the outer breast tissue may be explained by this region’s closer proximity to the underarm, where the highest density of application of antiperspirant, could be assumed.”
As more studies indicate the adverse reactions to aluminum in the body, it may raise awareness to eventually end the usage of this non-essential metal.