March 15, 2012
Which Toxic Chemical Is Found In 99 Percent of Breast Cancer Patients?
For years, experts have been warning women about some very toxic ingredients the cosmetic industry uses which put users at risk of cancer and hormonal changes. University of Reading researchers have now found one of those chemicals in 99 percent of the tissue samples for women undergoing mastectomies for first primary breast cancer.
"We have to do a better job at protecting the health of our children, but we also have to do a better job of protecting the women that feed our children, especially in their first year of life," said Patricia Ongo a breastfeeding specialist commenting on the results of the study.
A number of studies since 1998 have raised concerns about the potential role of these parabens in breast cancer as they possess estrogenic properties.
Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, Dr. Samuel Epstein, warned women that toxic ingredients in Avon Products put users at risk and urged the National Cancer Institute to terminate affiliations.
"Their detection in human breast tumors is of concern since parabens have been shown to mimic the action of the female hormone estrogen, and estrogen can drive the growth of human breast tumors," Dr. Philippa Darbre, lead author of the study, said in a statement.
Parabens are a chemical compound found in everyday toiletry products including moisturisers, make-up, shaving foam, tanning lotions and toothpaste.
They are also found in numerous brands of underarm deodorant. However, a causal link has never been found between them and breast cancer.
They are present in processed meats such as sausages, pies and pastries along with other savoury snacks.
The research team led by Dr Darbre from the University of Reading studied tissue samples from 40 women undergoing mastectomies between 2005 and 2008 for first primary breast cancer in England.
In total, 160 samples were collected, four from each woman. They found 99 per cent of the tissue samples contained at least one paraben and 60 per cent of the samples had five.
The team found women who didn't use underarm deodorants still had measurable parabens in their tissue, suggesting they must enter the breast from other sources.
Co-author Mr Lester Barr from the University Hospital of South Manchester, said: 'Our study appears to confirm the view that there is no simple cause and effect relationship between parabens in underarm products and breast cancer.
'The intriguing discovery that parabens are present even in women who have never used underarm products raises the question: where have these chemicals come from?'
Dr Darbre added: 'The fact that parabens were detected in the majority of the breast tissue samples cannot be taken to imply that they actually caused breast cancer in the 40 women studied.
The fact that parabens were present in so many of the breast tissue samples does justify further investigation.
'Whilst there are a number of factors that may slightly increase the risk of a person developing breast cancer, increasing age, gender (being female), toxicity levels and a significant family history are main risk factors.
'It is important that people should have access to information on this issue and about their risk factors for breast cancer so that they can make informed lifestyle choices.
April McCarthy is a community journalist playing an active role reporting and analyzing world events to advance our health and eco-friendly initiatives.