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Will antiperspirants and deodorants cause breast cancer? Part 3

Sep 21st 2009

Now that we’ve established how it’s possible to get breast cancer, let’s take a look the next part of the myth: at why it occurs where it occurs.

On location – the Upper Outer Quadrant of the Left Breast

cartoon_optIt’s a known fact that the most common location of breast cancer is on the upper outer quadrant of the left breast. That’s the area adjacent to your underarm. Several explanations have been offered to shed light on why this is. The accepted one is that  this region contains the greatest proportion of epithelial target tissue, but evidence for this seems to be largely anecdotal . [9]

An alternative explanation is that it is this area that is adjacent to where underarm cosmetics are applied. These products are not washed off or not washed off thoroughly, and with frequent application leads to build up on the skin. This may simply penetrate the skin without invoking any major physiological carrier, such as blood and lymph.[2]

Another set of clinical observations suggest that this can be attributed to more epithelial cells on the left side of the breast owing to the preferential blood supply on the left side of the body during intrauterine cardiac development.   [10]

However, a simpler but equally plausible explanation could be that since a greater majority of the population are right-handed, then there is greater application of these chemicals to the left underarm area. Unfortunately, there is no study available at this time to prove this.

breast cysts_optrarm Cosmetics And The Development Of Breast Cysts [3]
Breast cysts, although mostly benign, are significant because their presence can be indicative of cancer to come. Strangely enough, the upper outer quadrant of the breast is also shown to be the common site for these benign conditions.

Breast cysts are thought to be formed from the blockage of breast ducts. Because antiperspirants block sweat ducts and breasts are modified sweat glands, then breast ducts may act similarly to sweat ducts. Thus, it is possible that breast cyst may also arise from the use of antiperspirants. In addition, application of underarm cosmetics may not always precisely fall on the underarm, but also to the adjacent breast  areas, so there is no reason to believe that antiperspirants should not act the same way on these adjacent breast areas.

However, we can only conclude its relation after extensive clinical studies have been made.

But what have studies taught us so far when we put two and two together? In other words, what has been done to prove or disprove the association of underarm cosmetics application and the development of breast cancer?

To be concluded.

Part 1

Part 2

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4 Responses

  1. doczoe (33 comments) says:

    thank you so much! yes, i think they are valid, too. it’s easy to dismiss these points, but doing so will not lead to research and medical advancement. i’m looking forward to what these researcher come up to next.

  2. doczoe (33 comments) says:

    you did? thanks so much!

  3. Cancer&Health (1 comments) says:

    Excellent article on the topic of breast cancer. I was actually impressed at the level of the information. Many of the points have been raised over the years by other critics of screening mammography, and in my opinion, valid criticisms.

  4. קורס קידום אתרים (1 comments) says:

    great post as usual ! Shared it in twitter … thanks

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