Tag Archives: Fact Friday

Fact Friday: Antiperspirants & Breast Cancer Risk

For several years a rumors have spread through email chain letters and on websites that there is a link between the use of antiperspirants and an increased risk for breast cancer.

The main claims include:

  • Cancer-causing substances in antiperspirants are absorbed through razor nicks from underarm shaving.
  • Most breast cancers develop in the upper outer quadrant of the breast because that area is closest to the lymph nodes exposed to antiperspirants.
  • Men have a lower risk of breast cancer because they do not shave their underarms, and their underarm hair keeps chemicals in antiperspirants from being absorbed.

Based on studies, these claims are largely untrue.

Some often asked questions about the link between breast cancer risk and the use of antiperspirants include:

Do antiperspirants increase a person’s risk of breast cancer?

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.

Does using antiperspirant after shaving allow chemicals to enter the body from the armpit and increase breast cancer risk?

Razor nicks may increase the risk of skin infection. If the underarm skin is already broken or infected, it is possible that some antiperspirants could cause slight irritation. But it is unlikely that this is a major source of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) that get into the body and reach the breast cells.

Should I be concerned about parabens?

Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives and as food additives. They can be found in many types of make-up (like lipstick, mascara, concealer, and foundation) and skin care products (like lotion, shaving products, and sunscreen). Parabens can be absorbed through the skin.

Intake of parabens is a possible concern because studies have shown that parabens have weak estrogen-like properties. Estrogen is a female hormone known to cause breast cells (both normal and cancerous) to grow and divide. And some conditions that increase the body’s exposure to estrogen (like not having children, late menopause, obesity, etc.) have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

Although at this time there are no clear health risks from parabens in food, drugs, cosmetics, and skin care products, people concerned about exposure to parabens can avoid products containing them. (Source page dated Oct 14, 2014.)

Should I be concerned about aluminum in antiperspirants?

Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants. They block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface.

But it isn’t clear that much aluminum is absorbed through the skin.

At this point, no clear link has been made between antiperspirants containing aluminum and breast cancer. (Source page dated Oct 14, 2014)

Are men less likely to get breast cancer because antiperspirant gets caught in their underarm hair and is not absorbed by their skin?

Men are much less likely than women to develop breast cancer, mostly because men have much less breast tissue than women. Women have about 100 times more breast tissue than men and are about 100 times more likely to develop breast cancer.

Why does my doctor tell me not to use antiperspirant or deodorant on the day of my mammogram?

You are asked to not use antiperspirant or deodorant on the day you get a mammogram because many of these products contain aluminum. This metal can show up on a mammogram as tiny specks. These specks can look like microcalcifications, which are one of the things doctors look for as a possible sign of cancer. Not using these products helps prevent any confusion when the mammogram films are reviewed.

How can I learn more about breast cancer risk factors and ways to find breast cancer early, when treatment works best?

Women concerned about breast cancer can learn about risk factors for breast cancer and possible strategies to reduce breast cancer risk in Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention.

You can also talk to your doctor, nurse, or other health care providers. The American Cancer Society has information about all aspects of breast cancer, from causes and prevention, to diagnosis and treatment. Contact us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit our website, http://www.cancer.org.

To learn more about each question listed above as well as the research that has been conducted, please visit the following pages: Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer Risk and Antiperspirants/ Deodorants and Breast Cancer.

Fact Friday: Supporting Cancer Patients, Survivors & Caregivers

The mission of the American Cancer Society is to save lives, celebrate lives and lead the fight for a world without cancer.

Thanks to all of those who give, the American Cancer Society is able to help so many in their daily battles against cancer, whether they are cancer patients, survivors or caregivers.

A few of the statistics* from how your donations helped cancer patients and survivors in 2017:

  • Helped more than 33,000 women manage appearance-related side effects of treatment
  • Provided more than 9,000 peer support services to breast cancer patients
  • Provided more than 112,000 special kits of tailored information and resources for newly diagnosed patients
  • Thousands of patients, survivors, and caregivers use our online Cancer Survivors Network

*statistics can be found at cancer.org

Not only do patients, survivors and caregivers have access to the Cancer Survivors Network in their first lives, they also have access to support groups provided by the American Cancer Society within Second Life.

The American Cancer Society offers cancer survivors and caregivers the opportunity to receive and give support through our Hope Haven program.

Hope Haven is one of the best examples of the impact of our fundraising dollars making a real difference in our virtual world. The program exists to offer emotional support to people going through their own personal cancer journey.

The two primary functions of Hope Haven is the cancer survivor support group and the caregiver support group.

Each support group is led by a volunteer who works closely with American Cancer Society staff to:

  • Deliver the type of support that Second Life residents need
  • Reach out across the grid to let Second Life residents know about Hope Haven and offer support to cancer survivors and caregivers, everywhere
  • Work together with RFL & MSABC volunteers so that event opportunities are made available to members of Hope Haven
  • Offer event participants the opportunity to join Hope Haven support groups

For more information about the American Cancer Society and the inworld support groups for cancer patients, survivors and caregiver, please contact, Sandie Slate (Sandie Loxingly), Hope Haven Services Lead.

Visit Hope Haven on the American Cancer Society region here.

 

Fact Friday: Men & Breast Cancer

Guys, did you know that you can get breast cancer too? Just like other forms of cancer, breast cancer is non-discriminatory.

The American Cancer Society estimates for breast cancer in men in the United States for 2017 are:

About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed
About 460 men will die from breast cancer

Breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women. For men, the lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is about 1 in 1,000. The number of breast cancer cases in men relative to the population has been fairly stable over the last 30 years. (Source here.)

Early detection improves the chances that male breast cancer can be treated successfully.

There are many similarities between breast cancer in men and women, but there are some important differences that affect finding it early. These include:

  • Breast size
  • Lack of awareness that men can get breast cancer
  • For men who are high risk careful breast exams might be used
  • Genetic counseling and testing

To learn more about early detection for male breast cancer, please visit Cancer.org here.

What’s New in Research and Treatment in Breast Cancer in Men?
Studies continue to uncover lifestyle factors and habits that alter breast cancer risk. Ongoing studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on breast cancer risk.
Studies on the best use of genetic testing for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations continue at a rapid pace. Some studies have found that men with mutations in these genes may be more likely to develop some other cancers, including prostate cancer, stomach cancer, pancreas cancer, and melanoma. The risks for these cancers will be further defined in future studies.

  • New laboratory tests
  • Circulating tumor cells

Researchers have found that in many breast cancers, cells may break away from the tumor and enter the blood. These circulating tumor cells can be detected with sensitive lab tests. Although these tests are available for general use, it isn’t yet clear how helpful they are.

Treatments include:
* Radiation
* Chemotherapy
* Targeted therapies

To learn more about new research developments in the fight against male breast cancer, please visit this page at Cancer.org.

Fact Friday: FDA Approves Verzenio (Abemaciclib) for Certain Advanced Breast Cancers

As we near the end of this year’s MSABC campaign, We are pleased to inform you that another step has been made toward our end goal!

On September 17, 2017 it was released that the FDA had approved Verzenio (Abemaciclib) for the treatment of certain advanced breast cancers.

To learn more about Verzenio (Abemaciclib) and what types of advanced cancers it can be used for, please see the official release here.

This is why we continue to Make Strides with your support!

Fact Friday: Breast Cancer Rates Decline, But Still 2nd Leading Cause of Death

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women affecting 1 in every 8 women. Breast cancer deaths for women are only second to lung cancer, with 1 in 37 deaths attributed to breast cancer.

The good news is that breast cancer death rates have declined between 1989 and 2015 by approximately 36%. The peak rate came in 1989. Most of this is attributed to earlier detection and raised awareness, along with better treatments.

Cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States. However, in 21 states it is the number one cause of death. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women aged 20 to 59 years.

For more information about how common breast cancer, get the facts here from Cancer.org.

To learn more about the declining rates of cancer, please visit this page.

Fact Friday: Where Does the Money Go?

When you donate to a charity you sometimes wonder to yourself, “Where does the money go?”

See the infographic below that breaks down that question for you, so you will know exactly where your money goes when you support Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society. The data is from 2015.

For a text alternative of this information, please visit this page on cancer.org.