Chemical preservatives from underarm deodorants have been found in breast cancer tumors. Researcher Philip Harvey says, "From this research it is not possible to say whether parabens actually caused these tumors, but they may certainly be associated with the overall rise in breast cancer cases."
Biologist Philippa Darbre says, "?These results help explain why up to 60% of all breast tumors are found in just one-fifth of the breast?the upper-outer quadrant, nearest the underarm."
Gaia Vince writes in New Scientist that when researchers analyzed 20 breast cancer tumors, they found high concentrations of para-hydroxybenzoic acids (parabens) in 18 of them. Parabens mimic estrogen, which plays a role in the development of breast cancers. Parabens are used in many cosmetics and even in some foods. The form of parabens found in the tumors came from something that was applied to the skin, because parabens are eaten, they no longer mimic estrogen in the body.
Harvey says, "Given that breast cancer is the largest killer of women and a very high percentage of young women use underarm deodorants, I think we should be carrying out properly funded, further investigations into parabens and where they are found in the body."
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