Deodorant Preservative Found In Breast Tissue From Cancer Patients
Dr Philippa Darbre, of Reading's School of Biological Sciences led the study, a report on which appears in the 12 January online issue of the Journal of Applied Toxicology.
She told the press:
"These results are of concern because parabens have been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone oestrogen and oestrogen can drive the growth of human breast tumours."
Darbre has been studying parabens and their effect when absorbed via the skin for more than ten years. In 2004 she published a smaller similar study that measured levels of parabens in tissue samples from 20 human breast tumors.
For this study, Darbre and colleagues examined a total of 160 tissue samples, four from each of 40 women who had had mastectomies for primary breast cancer in England between 2005 and 2008. In each patient, the samples came from four different serial locations from the axilla (nearest the armpit) to the sternum (breast bone).
158 of the 160 samples (99%) contained at least one parabens, and 96 of them (60%) contained five of them.
It was not possible to identify the source of the parabens in each case, but since seven of the women said they had never used antiperspirant-deodorant products, the researchers suggest this means the compounds entered the breast from other sources.
"Many of the concentrations of the parabens measured in these breast tissues would be sufficient to drive the growth of oestrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells in the laboratory."
But she cautioned that the fact they detected the compounds in the majority of the samples does not mean we can assume they actually caused breast cancer in the participants.
"However," she said, "the fact that parabens were present in so many of the breast tissue samples does justify further investigation."
Recommended related news
"Measurement of paraben concentrations in human breast tissue at serial locations across the breast from axilla to
sternum"; L. Barr, G. Metaxas, C. A. J. Harbach, L. A. Savoy, P. D. Darbre; Journal of Applied Toxicology,
first published online: 12 JAN 2012; DOI: 10.1002/jat.1786; Link to Abstract
Additional source: University of Reading
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Paddock, Catharine. "Deodorant Preservative Found In Breast Tissue From Cancer Patients." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 14 Jan. 2012. Web.
28 Mar. 2017. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240324.php>
Paddock, C. (2012, January 14). "Deodorant Preservative Found In Breast Tissue From Cancer Patients." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
Contact our news editors
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please see our contact page.
Copyright Medical News Today: Excluding email/sharing services explicitly offered on this website, material published on Medical News Today may not be reproduced, or distributed without the prior written permission of Medilexicon International Ltd. Please contact us for further details.