Hi Tracey I think this is another one of those issues, like some of the nutritional ones, where there is no definite evidence but a lot of circumstantial evidence. When I went to the Breast Cancer Haven two day course we were given information about " minimising risks" from envirtonmental factors. Parabens were one of the potential risks identified. Their advice booklet says: “Parabens - Now highlighted as an oestrogen mimic and a factor in excess oestrogen in the body. Found in cosmetics creams, sunscreens, baby wipes, cleansing cloths and make up. Some have even been found in children’s drinks! READ THE LABEL! Implicated in asthma, urticaria, infanct eczema and even gastric irritation.”

I guess that this may be a concern - particularly for thos with ER+ cancers.

i am now an avid label watcher particularly for cosmetics and bathroom products. Useful websites are: - for skin products and makeup ofr a range of products both personal and homecare

and - mentioned on another thread - I haven’t used this myself but it looks good.

All the best


— tHIS THEORY — has been around for a while. It would be interesting to know if the powers that be have even bothered to research it further. Doubtful. It wouldn’t make money for anybody if it were found to be true.

Another instance of where I feel like shouting at my surgeon when she says, ‘You have to trust us. forget about your cancer. We’re here to look after you.’

If we don’t look out for ourselves and each other on this site, NO-BODY else is going to give us the same detailed information. With knowledge comes power and hopefully this will be something else we can now push for further info on - as you say, especially those of us ER+.

Joy xxx

Parabens If you go to, and search “parabens”, you’ll see what Breakthrough have to say on the subject. They also refer to some research. They conclude that studies have shown that the body can absorb Parabens and that the chemical has been found in breast tumours, but that does not show that Parabens cause breast cancer. (it doesn’t prove it isn’t a factor in causing breast cancer either - my words)

It’s also worth bearing in mind that Avon Cosmetics is one of Breakthrough’s main corporate partners and they have raised a huge amount of funds for them (which is excellent), but whether Avon have phased out Parabens from their products in favour of less controversial chemicals, I don’t know.

I have suggested to Breakthrough that their relationship with Avon appears to me to make it difficult for them to carry out independent research into whether there is any connection between cosmetic ingredients and breast cancer - just waiting to hear back from them about that and some other questions I’ve raised.

Breakthrough also state that Breast Cancer is a complex disease and that there is no one single factor that causes the disease - which I agree with.

However, it’s like the dairy debate and we each have to weigh up the information available and decide whether we think certain foods and chemicals are a risk or not.

Personally, I’m not happy to expose myself to chemicals which are not proven to be completely safe and I include Parabens in that and, as there are more natural, organic alternative cosmetics, I try to use them.

My view is why spend time agonising whether or not certain foods and chemicals are safe when researchers can’t even agree. Vote with your purse - buy products which are believed to be safer and if enough people do that, manufacturers will have start manufacturing products containing less controversial ingredients otherwise their sales will fall.

Life’s to short to wait for the experts to agree.

Rumours and real Much of the speculation about deodorants and breast cancer is scaremongering rumour and not evidence.

A recent case controlled study of 1500 women showed there is no increased risk of breast cancer with deodorant use (and no increased risk of bc within an hour of shaving either.)

There has been some lab research into parabens, and this research did show traces of parabens in breast tumour tissue, BUT there was no control with healthy breast tissue. Even if the parabens found in breast tumour tissue did come from anti perspirants, 'this is a long way from saying that parabens cause breast cancer". More than 90% of deodorants are parabens feee.

I have quoted from and taken this information from the Cancer Research UK website…worth a look for sorting out the rumour from the real.


Rumours Breakthrough also say that 90% of deodorants don’t have Parabens in, but deodorants haven’t been specifically mentioned in this discussion, up to now. Tracey mentioned a number of other products with it in, not just cosmetics.

None of this alters the fact that Parabens is used as a preservative in cosmetics and that there is a controversy about it.

I don’t think that wanting to buy products that don’t contain a chemical which is subject to controversy indicates that you are susceptible to scaremongering and rumour, rather that you’ve weighed up the information available to you and made a choice - Jane, sorry if I’m putting words in your mouth, but that’s how it came across.

I agree that the media whips up scaremongering and rumour about this and other subjects, but, if we want to focus on fact and evidence and not rumour, the fact and evidence I see is that no researcher can produce conclusive evidence that Parabens is safe and not implicated in breast cancer. Quite possibly it is not, I don’t care, I don’t want to buy products with it in and I’ve been deliberately avoiding such products for months.

Scaremongering and rumour Hi Daphne

I wasn’t particualrly referring to parabens but to the general scaremongering and rumour that goes on about deodorants and breast cancer. There’s an e-mail which does the rounds (and I have recived it a couple of times) which says that using anti perspirant is a major cause of bc because anti perspirant stops toxins being released from the body in sweat and so they build up in the lymph nodes and cause breast cancer. This is complete nonsense but it frightens many women.

As always it is evidence I am interested in, and I also have serious concerns about the damage that rumours and speculation do.

Keep the debate going!


Parabens When this first hit the headlines, it was based on a study of 20 samples of breast tissue from mastectomies. However, these were not compared with samples of normal breast tissue, so it was not a very scientific study. Also, the fact that parabens were present in the samples does not prove that this caused the breast cancer - it is possible that the entire population has parabens in body tissue!

If people feel they want to avoid certain products, that’s up to them. There’s no right or wrong about these things. The only time it becomes dangerous is when people shun conventional treatment in favour of ‘quackery’, but it’s still their decision in the end.