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How Your Shampoo, Make-up & Deodorant Can Contribute to Breast Cancer


You have probably heard of Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy to avoid breast cancer. It was a shocking and drastic decision made by  someone who doesn’t have the cancer. But I don’t blame her. She said she did it so that her kids won’t have to fear losing her through this disease.  I have three friends under 40 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, so it’s important for me to share this.


It is hard to pinpoint the causes of cancer. They say it is  a mixture of heredity, environmental factors, personal habits, nutrition and lifestyle. The only thing we can truly do  to lessen our risk is to take good care of ourselves. Get adequate rest, good nutrition, regular exercise and avoid stress and pollutants.


Another thing we can do, as women who love primping and pampering, is to limit our use of toiletries  and personal care products that contain harmful chemicals. Our bodies naturally produces estrogen and too much estrogen in the body is said to be the cause of tumors and cancers. However, what we don’t realize is a lot of chemicals we put in our bodies through cosmetics and personal care products contain chemicals that mimic estrogen in the body. Because we use these products everyday, these chemicals can compound and make our estrogen levels go up, making us more susceptible to cancer.

breast cancer


PARABENS & BREAST CANCER. One class of chemicals to be aware of  are parabens. Parabens are everywhere. They use them in lotions, lipstick, blush-on, massage oils and some processed foods. I’ve even seen them in my baby’s vitamins!  Not only that, when you look at the ingredients in a product, they don’t just use one kind of paraben. There’s usually a group of them in there: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben,isobutylparaben, butylparaben and benzylparaben, etc.  Parabens are used as preservatives. They have been used since the 1920s for their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Recently, Michael spoke to an executive of a large pharmaceutical company and he was told that the parabens that enter the body stay there permanently. Scary, isn’t it?


What is alarming is the study made exactly a year ago (May 2012 ) by  Barr, Metaxas, Harbach, Savoy and Darbre  that found that breast cancer tissues had  concentration of parabens of  up to 1 million times higher than the estrogen levels naturally found in human breast tissue. Propylparaben, in particular, was found in the highest concentration in the underarm area (axilla), where underarm deodorants are most used and breast cancer prevalence is at its highest.


I stopped using under-arm deodorant seven years ago upon the advice of a good friend and my then-future husband. I’d figured I’d rather be smelly and sweaty than be sick.  I thought it was a need, but when I stopped using it altogether I realized that I didn’t have body odor. I, like most women my age, have just been deceived by a multi-million marketing campaign that says one cannot live without deodorant.


THE GOOD NEWS. It will take more research for the scientific community to conclude that parabens cause breast cancer. However, common sense tells us to limit our exposure to these chemicals. Fortunately, we have a choice. The good news is we don’t have to go abroad to buy expensive organic products  which do not contain parabens and other harmful stuff like phthalates, EDTA, triclosans, PEGs and artificial fragrances. The Meloto sisters’ Human Nature has organic skin care,  baby care and cosmetic products. And yes, they do have organic under-arm deodorant, for those of us who cannot give it up! They also  recently came out with organic dish-washing liquid, laundry detergent and organic pet shampoo.  There’s also Plantex Green and Messy Bessy’s  organic household products. These brands are all-Filipino and they produce products that are at par with US and Canadian brands–without the high price tag  Although you cannot find them in your suking grocery or sari-sari store, you can easily order from them online.


MORE IMPORTANT INFORMATION Please take time to read and share these two articles that shed more light on parabens and  breast cancer:

*Top Breast Cancer Prevention Strategies by Dr. Mercola


*Five Types of Parabens Detected Intact in Human Breast Tumors  from the  Newsletter of the Cornell University Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF)





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