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Originally published on Gaia-Health.com
Recent decades have brought enormous increases in breast cancer. Rather than look for a reason, most research has centered on finding treatments, though with little effect on outcomes. Philippa Darbre, though, has dedicated her efforts to finding if aluminum, a known human toxin that's the basis for antiperspirants, could be the culprit.
We live in the Age of Aluminum, a time that brings great convenience, but at the expense of enormous health damage. A likely case in point is the massive upsurge in breast cancer and fibrocystic disease, a condition of cyst formation in the breasts. Aluminum of the periodic table is the most likely cause of both these conditions.
Keele Conference participant Philippa Darbre has dedicated herself to researching this epidemic. She states:
Mortality results from breast tumour growth at metastatic sites rather than in the breast itself.
That is, breast tumors don't kill, but their metastases do. The research she presented at February's Keele Conference on the Biological Effects of Aluminum demonstrate that aluminum in the breast causes changes that can lead to deadly metastasis in breast cancer. She had, though, done a great deal of other research before broaching the issue of metastasis, including investigations of the relative amount of aluminum in cancerous and noncancerous breast tissue, the amount of aluminum found in breast fluid, dispersal of aluminum in breast tissue, and other issues related to aluminum and other metals in human health. Her focus is centered on aluminum in cosmetics, particularly antiperspirants.
Aluminum in Breast Tissue
Breast cancer is more common in the outer upper quadrant of the breast, which may be indicative of a connection with aluminum salts in antiperspirants. Drs. Darbre and Christopher Exley conducted a study to determine the amount of aluminum found in different parts of the breast.They measured the content of aluminum in the four breast quadrants of 17 women who had undergone mastectomies. The following graph shows the results:
Each bar represents 100% of the aluminum found in each woman, and is divided into four sections to indicate the percent of aluminum found in each quadrant. The bottom two sections show the percentage of aluminum found in the two outer quadrants, axilla and lateral. The graph shows that, on average, signifcantly more aluminum is stored in the outer area of women's breasts.
This leads to two questions: Does aluminum cause breast cancer? and Is the concentration of aluminum in the outer quadrants of breasts a result of antiperspirants, whose active ingredient is an aluminum compound? This study clarifies, though, that aluminum found in antiperspirants mustbe considered a potential breast carcinogen.
Aluminum as an Estrogen Mimic
Many metals are estrogen mimics, making them potentially dangerous in the human body because of their ability to combine with estrogen receptors, thus replacing natural estrogen. Dr. Darbre did a study demonstrating that aluminum is also an estrogen mimic.