Smelly armpits and ear wax link to Breast Cancer

Just read the following article published this week webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20090605/ear-wax-body-odor-breast-cancer-link. Apparently a link between an abnormal gene called ABCC11 and Breast Cancer has been found that causes these symptoms.
I had my ears syringed on numerous occasions in the couple of years prior to diagnosis as I produced massive amounts of ear wax and also suffered from very smelly armpits which no amount of deodorant would shift. I had a lumpectomy and am now wondering if I should have had a full mastectomy to stop the cancer from recurring if it may have been caused by a faulty gene. Has anyone else had these symptoms before diagnosis?

Fascinating stuff, but of course it’s just an indicator that this might increase the risk - not that it causes it. And as the article says, it may have to be present with other indicators such as genes associated with breast cancer risk, or other things. Interesting nevertheless. Shows that research is pushing forward I guess, but it’s not quick enough for us, is it ladies!!!
A link on that page also mentioned ssri’s and tamoxifen, suggesting that some ssri’s can inhibit tamoxifen and therefore increase a woman’s risk of a recurrence. From the threads I note that lots of women are on antidepressants, presumably not the ones specifically mentioned in that article?
Interesting.

With respect, I have to say that I am astonished at the kind of things academics are given funding to research. Ear wax and stinky armpits?

I have noticed since my oopherectomy and resultant surgical menopause that I no longer sweat very much under my arms or indeed grow much hair. That would suggest that the lack of sweat (and therefore any odour) is something to do with lack of oestrogen.

As I understand it, the gene ABCC11 is already linked to Breast Cancer as are the BRAC genes and it is the variation of the gene that causes these unpleasant side effects according to the research paper.

They believe that the gene ABCC11 “may” confer a propensity to develop certain cancers. They do know that a protein expressed by ABCC11 may be partly responsible for making women Tamoxifen or 5FU resistant - so there is a connection to breast cancer. But it should not be confused with the established risk of BRCA 1 & 2 mutations and a heightened propensity to develop bc.

This very small Japanese study has identified a SNP - in other words a tiny glitch on the gene - a glitch which is very common in the population. They have found that this glitch causes gloopy ear wax.
They have not found that women with gloopy earwax have increased incidences of breast cancer. They haven’t even found that women with breast cancer have increased incidences of gloopy ear wax.
This is one of those halfbaked academic studies that weedle their way into the Daily Mail and actually say very little but scare the pants off people.

The intention of this research was NOT driven by a desire to unlock the secrets of bc. Their intention was to devise “a rapid and cost effective test” (their words).
If you do a quick Google on this story you will find the same press release has found its way onto thousands of sites.
And this is how the codswallop about cancer spreads …

Should you have had a mastectomy because you had lots of ear wax? No.

For months before my diagnosis I noticed a horrible sweet sweaty smell on me that no amount of showering or deoderants could remove. I’d smelt the same scent some years before on a friend who was suffering from cancer but never for a moment thought I too had it! The smell was not there when I awoke after the operation and thankfully I haven’t smell it since!

I too noticed that the sweet sweaty smell went as soon as I had my operation! Will discuss with my oncologist on next check up.

Yes I too can concur that for many years I have had to use a really strong deodorant, the sort you use at night to stop sweating, and use only a couple of times a week - otherwise I wouldn’t appear to sweat but would get very smelly armpits.

As for the earwax, I’ve had an excess of this too and like the other ladies have had to have my ears syringed a few times before my dx.

The ear problem is still the same, but thankfully the smelly pits seem to have cleared up.

Maybe not too many people want to own up to having such problems?

hi there,
slightly different angle here to the original thread, but i have been using dri-clore for some years now (the deodrant you put on at night then wash off to stop excessive sweating). I asked my BC nurse if i could continue with this as i had heard aluminium in deodrant is a no-no for BC patients. She said ahe had never been asked this question and would look into it so when i spotted this thread i thought i’d just see if anyone else had been advised on the use of strong deodrants containing aluminium?
x

I have had very little need for deodorant since my chemically-induced menopause four years ago (and more or less constant chemo ever since). Not much hair has grown back to harbour sweat. I have not undergone surgery and would surmise that it is a hormonal change (such as puberty) which produces more sweaty smells and nothing to do with surgery or not.

Jenny