Health myths: does antiperspirant cause breast cancer?

It’s a common claim that the aluminium in antiperspirants and deodorants is linked to cancer — Benenden examines the truth

Benenden

The straight answer is no. The idea that antiperspirant and deodorant cause breast cancer is a myth, says Dr Jana Witt, health information officer at Cancer Research UK. And any concern is unnecessary, as there is absolutely no convincing evidence to substantiate 
what simply amounts to poor science 
and rumours.

‘Scientists have looked at these claims closely, and have found them unconvincing,’ says Dr Witt. ‘Most have no real biological foundation and a lot of the research is of low quality.’

Antiperspirants and deodorants are applied underarm to suppress sweating and odour, and it is their use so close to breast tissue that has sparked worry in the past. ‘However, breast cancer occurs in the breast, not in the underarm lymph nodes,’ explains Dr Witt. ‘There isn’t any solid evidence about a link with cancer.’

Cancer Research UK reviews all 
the new evidence that emerges and publishes information on its website. Anyone with concerns is urged to contact the organisation for authoritative advice and support.

For more health stories visit benenden.co.uk/healthier-you/.