Breast Cancer is a topic that concerns all of us. Not only that men can be affected directly by this disease too, but most of the time, the affected woman is a wife, a mother a beloved partner, a daughter, a grandmother, simply: part of a family.
One in 8 women will face this diagnosis, according to statistics (http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/health-professional/cancer-statistics/statistics-by-cancer-type/breast-cancer#heading-Zero).
But what can we do to prevent Breast Cancer? What can we do as individuals to at least reduce our risk of getting Breast Cancer?
- limit alcohol
- don't smoke
- be physically active
- control your weight
More specific things to do to prevent Breast Cancer are:
- breast feed: breast feeding before the age of 30 reduces the risk for Breast Cancer but also breast feeding at any age does compared to the population who doesn't breast feed at all (1).
- limit dose and duration of hormone therapy: combination hormone therapy for more than 3 to 5 years increases the risk of Breast Cancer (according to Mayo Clinic)
- Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution: medical imaging, such as CT scans use a high dose of radiation, so make sure to only undergo a CT scan if really necessary and ask your doctor about alternatives such as an MRI scan.
- Use aluminium free deodorant: this is actually the information I want to get out there and inform you of. So far, there is no clear evidence for aluminium to be the harmful substance to be blamed for the high numbers of Breast Cancer we are facing. However, there is new literature that suggests a correlation between Aluminium Chloride (which is the substance used in deodorants) and Breast Cancer (2). To me as a doctor, it would not be surprising if there was a correlation between putting something artificial onto our axillary skin every day and the development of Breast Cancer, which nowadays, mostly appears first in the upper outer quadrant of the breast- this happens to be closest to where deodorants are applied. Maybe we are only about to detect this correlation later, which is why there is not enough evidence yet. Still, even though there is not enough scientific evidence yet, the fact that the deodorant industry already reacts by highlighting newer deodorants with: 0% aluminium, only confirms my scepticism and so I think, as long as there is no proof of aluminium being harmless, I won't loose anything through avoiding it in my deodorant. In the UK, so far, I have only been able to find one brand (BIONSEN- picture below), that sells aluminium free deodorant (bought in boots). Otherwise, I import my deodorants from Austria (Nivea, Rexona- pictures below).
- Last but not least I want to highlight the importance of self investigating your breast. Best to do just after your period, simply investigate your breasts with the palm of your hand from the upper outer quadrant systematically and see if you can feel any knots or irregularities. You will get a feeling for what feels normal, which is also important for your self investigations in the future. If in doubt, just ask your gynaecologist or your GP to show you once how to do it and if you think you found something that seems not right, of course, don't hesitate to see your doctor.
Below are the references to the articles which underline my statements in case you are interested to do some further research, Also see the links for more information. Don't hesitate to contact me if there are any further questions to me.
I hope you like this article and that it clarifies things about the ALUMINIUM in deodorant question...
(1) Breastfeeding and breast cancer risk by receptor status--a systematic review and meta-analysis.Islami F, Liu Y, Jemal A, Zhou J, Weiderpass E, Colditz G, Boffetta P, Weiss M. Ann Oncol. 2015 Dec;26(12):2398-407. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv379. Epub 2015 Oct 26.
(2) Aluminium chloride promotes tumorigenesis and metastasis in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells.Mandriota SJ, Tenan M, Ferrari P, Sappino AP. Int J Cancer. 2016 Aug 19. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30393. [Epub ahead of print]