Parabens And Breast Cancer

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The Parabens And Breast Cancer Controversy

Recently, there has been renewed interest in the connection between the use of anti-perspirants and breast cancer. Long dismissed as internet rumor by many established cancer societies around the world, new research performed by Dr. Philippa Darbre indicates that may not be accurate.

Philippa Darbre and colleagues at the , the Edinburgh Breast Unit, and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, used high-pressure liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) to analyze samples of twenty different human breast tumors, measuring the concentration of parabens, simple alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoic acid, are in each. Intact parabens were detected in the samples, with a mean concentration of 20.6 nanograms per gram of tissue. The parabens were detected in their ester form rather than as their metabolites, which the researchers suggest, means that the route to entry into the breast tumor tissue is directly through the skin rather than by oral ingestion.

We believe that more research clearly needs to address these questions. The investigators report finding preservatives commonly used in antiperspirants and other cosmetic products in breast tumors. Their earlier work also implicated the preservatives, known as parabens, as weak promoters of estrogen-dependent breast cells.

Although they are not saying that parabens cause breast cancer, lead researcher Philippa Darbre, PhD, and colleagues are hoping the findings will lead to larger studies.

"Our research certainly does not prove causality, but we believe that in a few of these tumors the level of this chemical was high enough to promote breast cancer cell growth," Darbre says. "We don't know, however, if parabens can cause normal cells to become cancer cells."

Until more information is available, perhaps it would be wiser to seek out cosmetics and beauty products that do not contain hormone mimicking preservatives (parabens).

View Additional Article from the BBC

View Additional Article Nature Reviews
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