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Is There a Link Between Antiperspirants and Cancer?

I've heard that using aluminum-containing antiperspirants can increase your risk of cancer, since the product is absorbed through the skin. Is there a link between antiperspirants and cancer? If there is, people should know!
 

Answer

There is a definite link between antiperspirants and cancer, but that link exists primarily in alarmist e-mails and in the imaginations of fearful people desperate to find an avoidable cause for breast cancer.
 
In reality, taken as a whole, the scientific data suggest no clear link between breast cancer and antiperspirants. A few small studies suggest there might be a link, but these have been criticized for taking into account many of the confounding factors that would influence the study results.
 
If you find the arguments against using antiperspirants convincing, by all means feel free to abstain from using these products. The worst that will happen is that you may be a bit sweaty (and stinky). Keep in mind that the arguments may seem convincing, but they usually don't make much sense. For instance, aluminum is often the ingredient blamed for causing cancer. However, aluminum exposure through antiperspirants is tiny compared to the amount of aluminum we're exposed to through foods.
 
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