Fact Check: No, using deodorant cannot cause breast cancer

A claim has gone viral all over on social media claiming that using deodorants especially under your armpits can lead to breast cancer.

By Tejal Sinha  Published on  22 Jun 2021 7:18 AM GMT
Fact Check: No, using deodorant cannot cause breast cancer

Hyderabad: A claim has gone viral all over on social media claiming that using deodorants especially under your armpits can lead to breast cancer.

This is not the first time this myth has been doing rounds.






Fact Check

The viral claim is misleading.

NewsMeter spoke to gynecologists and oncologists to confirm the authenticity of the claim.

Dr. Sunil Eshwar, lead consultant, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aster RV Hospital said that aluminum-based compounds used as active ingredients in deodorants may have estrogen-like effects. This has led to suggestions that aluminum-based compounds in deodorants may increase the risk of or cause breast cancer.

However, studies done to date do not show any increase in risk of breast cancer among women reported being using an underarm deodorant or antiperspirant.

Dr Umanath Nayak, surgical oncologist at Apollo Cancer Institute, Jubilee Hills had requested not to believe in such messages or posts. He said such messages are hoaxes that create panic.

It is also highly recommended that in case you notice even a minor difference in your breast, consult an expert as early as possible.

The myth was also debunked by Dr Tanaya Narendra, an internationally trained medical doctor, embryologist and founder of dr_cuterus, her Instagram page, on her official Instagram page.

She had shared a post that stated that there have been several studies that have been conducted to understand the link between the use of deodorants and the occurrence of breast cancer. And none of them found any such association between the two.

Through her post, she had explained that this rumour has its origin in the 1990s, when some emails went around claiming that applying deodorant on freshly shaved underarm skin causes breast cancer. Shaving creates small cuts in the skin, and the deodorant you apply gets absorbed into your lymph nodes, which you can't get rid of because the deodorant prevents you from sweating.

Lymph nodes are a part of the immune system, they help the body filter the microbes and cancer cells. Lymph nodes are connected to each other using a superhighway inside your body, but they are not connected to your sweat glands. Antiperspirants block your sweat glands, and not your lymph nodes.

NewsMeter also found a report by the American Cancer Society that stated that there are no strong epidemiologic studies in the medical literature that link breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, and very little scientific evidence to support this claim.

In fact, a carefully designed epidemiologic study of this issue published in 2002 compared 813 women with breast cancer and 793 women without the disease. The researchers found no link between breast cancer risk and antiperspirant use, deodorant use, or underarm shaving.


Hence, the viral myth is False as there are no scientifically proven evidence to show the link between deodorants and breast cancer.

Claim Review:Deodorants can cause breast cancer
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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