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Anti-perspirants and shaving….do they cause breast cancer too?

Antiperspirants and underarm shaving cause breast cancer, too!

Dr. Kris McGrath, M.D. of Chicago published a study of 400 breast cancer survivors, in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. Women who aggressively shave and use antiperspirant had a diagnosis of breast cancer 22 years earlier than non-users.

The most obvious conclusion is that tiny nicks in the skin caused by shaving allow for more penetration of the cancer-causing aluminum found in anti-perspirants.

One more time I’ll mention that I have not worn a commercial deodorant or anti-perspirant in years. Not even when I speak in front of 500 people, or wear a little black dress—or both, as I will do tomorrow night in Lehi, Utah. Not even when I run 5 miles and have a meeting right after.

The two things that work for me are a crystal stick (found in health food stores, a few brands), and coconut oil. There are no-paraben (which is an endocrine disruptor found in many cosmetics), no-aluminum deodorants on the market. You can try them but they chafe and don’t really work for me.

I hope you stop wearing commercial anti-perspirants, forever, today.

(Shaving? That I’m not giving up. Certainly not until I move to my little island in Europe. It shouldn’t matter if I’m not using deodorant with chemicals.)

In response to yesterday’s blog post, Grace made the point that the research I quoted wasn’t published in a peer-reviewed journal. I believe that most of the important and most-true information in the world is unpublished in peer-reviewed journals. Why? First, those vehicles were invented by the pharmaceutical industry. Second, only the pharmaceutical industry can afford to perform million-dollar clinical trials that are publishable. Third, not every piece of research is related to a medical rag, and not every researcher’s goal is to publish.

On the flip side, some of the worst lies ever perpetrated on the American public started by being published with “promising results” in the peer-reviewed journals. (Fen-phen, Lipitor, and Avastin, as examples.) Your peers allowing it to be published is not a failsafe. On the flip side, your not submitting it to the journals isn’t necessarily a credibility killer either.

I wish research weren’t so co-opted by a few wealthy industries. Remember that the five richest companies in the Fortune 500 are drug companies, and their wealth, combined, dwarfs the other 495 of the Fortune 500 combined! I love research, I love analysis, I love data and empirical evidence. But medical journals are businesses. I just don’t believe that the peer review or publishing processes necessarily validate information or that the medical journals have a corner on data.

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