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The Stinky Truth About Antiperspirants & Deodorants

If you're at all health-counscious you've probably come across the argument that antiperspirants and deodorants are bad for you.

Health advocates posit that conventional antiperspirants and deodorants are bad for your health in a variety of ways; they say that they contain harmful substances which are then absorbed into the skin through, either nicks caused by shaving, or through the sweat glands and then into the lymph nodes to be distributed throughout the body.

This then led to the belief that antiperspirants and deodorants can cause breast cancer. That certain ingredients or components in these products cause or are related to breast cancer is due to the fact that they are applied frequently to an area next to the breast, an area in the upper outer quadrant of the breast where breast cancer typically appears (1)(2). They also argue that there is genomic instability in this area.

First of all, let's determine whether a clear link between antiperspirant/deodorant use and breast cancer has been established.

Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer

In 2002 one study was looking for a relationship between breast cancer and underarm antiperspirants/deodorants. This study didn't find any increased risk for breast cancer in women who used an antiperspirant or deodorant. These conclusions were based on interviews with 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women with no history of breast cancer. </