Clean Your Kitchen, Develop Breast Cancer?

More and more there is increased awareness surrounding breast cancer. There are fund raising organizations, walk/runs, ribbons, product placement everywhere you look. There are even programs that encourage monthly self-exams but what about delineating information to the public about what causes breast cancer? Where are those?

More and more researchers are finding possible links between the products we use and breast cancer. Items such as our cosmetics, sunscreen, soaps & cleaning products and, more alarmingly, that 90% of these cancers are due to environmental factors.

There has been a steady increase in incidents of invasive breast cancer in the last few decades. Researchers know that when these products are absorbed into the body the endocrine system goes a bit wonky. The problem is that the products cause the body to increase the retention of estrogen. This is a Very Bad Thing.

The body is supposed to regulate estrogen, either naturally or through the use of hormone supplementation via supervised medication. When the body has introduction of products that unnaturally cause the estrogen levels to increase over time, or tones that actually mimic estrogen such as paraben does, it starts to inhibit the body’s natural processes.

Breast tissue absorbs the chemicals and starts to change – and breast cancer forms. This is a rather simplistic way of putting it; there are all sorts of things that the body does to eventually lead to this unfortunate end.

Organic Authority has listed quite a few products that fall into this category :

Parabens, a preservative used in cosmetics, food and pharmaceuticals

Phthalates, a plasticizer found in cosmetics

Triclosan, a preservative found in products such as anti-perspirant, moisturizers and hand soap


Coal Tar, found in dandruff treatments and shampoos

Hydroquinone, skin lightener/bleach

8-prenylnaringenin & Miroestrol/deoxymiroestrol, breast enhancers

Cyclosiloxanes, conditioner found in hair products

Aluminum salts, found in anti-perspirant

Formaldehyde, found in nail polish and flame retardants

Toluene, found in nail polish

Red 40, Red 3, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 (amongst others) are known carcinogens

A more comprehensive list can be found at

Amazing, isn’t it? There is a category that covers almost every cosmetic area, seemingly. If you put lotion on your face with sunscreen – double whammy with sunscreen and triclosan. If you put nail polish on you’ve exposed yourself to formaldehyde and toluene.

As you use these products over time you’ve increased your body’s levels of estrogen and increased the body’s response to the estrogen mimicking products. In other words, the longer you use them the worse it gets.

According to the Organic Authority article, “Dr. Philippa Darbre, a senior lecturer in oncology at the University of Reading’s School of Biological Sciences in England, published a report titled “Environmental Oestrogens, Cosmetics and Breast Cancer” in the March issue of Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (Vol. 20, No. 1, 2006).”

Her findings (listing the products above) show a clear increase of risk of breast cancer when there is a daily application of cosmetics through food, water and air. She posits that there are thousands of sources that can expose us to these harmful chemicals.

It’s tough to avoid.
While men can also develop breast cancer, this is mostly a risk for women, whose breast tissue is more susceptible from the age of puberty through menopause – the majority of their lives.

So, how do we avoid them?
The simple answer is that you really can’t, but you can take control of what goes into your body and what you’re exposing yourself to on a daily basis to better decrease your chances of developing cancer.
Check your ingredients. Know what’s in your products, and if you’re seeing any of the items on the list make sure you throw them out or don’t buy them!

For sunscreen use, only use zinc-based formulas.
Stay away from all parabens. These may be listed as Methylparaben or any other such variation.
It’s going to take some serious work on your part to make sure you’re clearing your diet and cosmetics. Steel yourself to the possibility that you’re going to have to give-up a long-term-use product. The good news is there are many companies who are on the bandwagon of providing quality products – cancer causing agents free!

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