Can using roll-on deodorant increase breast cancer risk? Expert answers

A number of scientific studies have been conducted to find out the link between use of deodorant and breast cancer risk. But here’s what expert told News9

Can using roll-on deodorant increase breast cancer risk? Expert answers

Breast cancer is the leading health concern across the world (Photo Credit: Pexels)

Breast cancer is a major concern for women worldwide. The rising cases of the disease are leading to various questions and myths about its causes. One of the common rumours people talk about is that the use of underarm deodorant rollers and antiperspirant may increase the risk of breast cancer in women. The misconception sprang out as a result of worries about parabens and aluminium compounds, two common components in deodorants. Some people also contend that these compounds can enter the body through the skin, notably, the underarm region, build up in the breast tissue, and cause the growth of cancerous cells.

In order to shed light and understand this we spoke to Dr Swati Suradkar, Consultant Breast Surgeon, Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, who said, “The incidence of Breast Cancer is rapidly rising all over the world. Though the awareness about breast cancer is increasing in society, there are also many Myths and Misconceptions about this cancer among women. One of the common rumours is that the use of underarm deodorant rollers and antiperspirant may increase the risk of breast cancer in women.”

Theories behind the Myth

Dr Suradkar explained, “The reason for this concern is due to the use of Aluminum compounds and Paraben as an ingredient in these skin care products which are applied to the area near the breast. Aluminium compounds are common ingredients of antiperspirants and many skin care products. Aluminum is said to cause chronic irritation of the skin and blockage of sweat glands. Because of this, it is absorbed through the skin. But the quantity absorbed through the skin is much smaller than its toxic dose. No scientific evidence is found to associate it with the increased risk of breast cancer.”

“Paraben is used as a preservative in many skin care products. Lab studies have shown that it has weak estrogen-like properties. Estrogen is a female hormone which is commonly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Although Parabens have weak estrogen activity, the estrogen produced in the body is a hundred to thousand times stronger. Studies in people have not shown any direct link between Parabens and breast cancer,” she added.

So the National Cancer Institute ( NCI ) and American Cancer Society ( ACS ) say that there are no strong studies or scientific evidence linking breast cancer risk with the use of deodorants and antiperspirants.

• Increasing age
• Obesity
• No children/first child after 35
• Early menarche/late menopause
• No breastfeeding
• Hormone replacement therapy/Birth control pills
• No physical activity
• Alcohol consumption/smoking
• Chemicals in the environment
• Positive Family history
• Genetic mutations


Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early detection can save lives, know importance of recognising symptoms

  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Early detection can save lives, know importance of recognising symptoms
Breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control, know risk factors of breast cancer recurrence (Photo credit: Pexels)

New Delhi: Breast cancer is one most common cancers in the world that is usually detected after symptoms appear. A study conducted by AIIMS shows India saw a sudden jump of 35.9 per cent in breast cancer cases in the last seven years. This is a concerning number, which needs urgent attention and here comes the role of practising awareness for early detection.

Dr Swati Suradkar Consultant Breast Surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune told News9, “Breast cancer is a significant health concern, especially in developing nations like India, where it constitutes nearly a quarter of all female cancers in urban areas. While traditionally associated with women over 40, there’s a rising trend of diagnoses in younger individuals. Detecting it early greatly increases the chances of a complete cure, with screening mammography playing a crucial role. All women need to be aware of potential signs and symptoms.”

“A key indicator is the possibility of a breast lump. Though not all lumps are cancerous, any newly discovered, painless lump should be thoroughly examined. Cancerous lumps often have irregular shapes and are immobile, and firm. However, they can also be rounded and cause discomfort. Unfortunately, painless lumps might lead to delayed medical attention until they grow significantly or exhibit concerning features like nipple discharge, swelling, ulcers, or bleeding. Consulting a specialist promptly upon noticing a painless, enlarging lump is crucial for early detection and better chances of successful treatment,” said Dr Suradkar.

Early signs of breast cancer

Changes in the skin over the breast can also provide important indicators. These may appear as dimpling, tethering, swelling, redness, ulceration, or nodules. While these changes are typically associated with advanced stages, early breast cancer can present with skin tethering. Sometimes redness and swelling might be mistaken for breast infections, especially in pregnant and lactating women, leading to delayed diagnosis. Inflammatory Breast Cancer is a particularly aggressive form that causes extensive redness and swelling, requiring early diagnosis and immediate intervention.

Importance of early screening

In cases where breast cancer shows no symptoms or is in its early stages, screening mammography is crucial for detection. Therefore, all women aged 40 and above, and those with a family history of breast cancer, should undergo regular mammograms. For women under 40, breast sonography is recommended. Suspicious lumps should be confirmed through biopsy for an accurate diagnosis.

To sum up, being vigilant, recognizing warning signs, and seeking prompt medical attention for concerning symptoms are crucial for early detection and successful treatment of breast cancer. Regular screenings, especially for those at higher risk, are invaluable for timely intervention and ultimately improving outcomes in the battle against breast cancer


Spotting trouble: 10 red flags that could signal breast cancer

With October observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an expert details out what you must look out for to detect breast cancer early
Women over 40 are recommended to go for regular mammography for prevention and early detection of breast cancer,
Women over 40 are recommended to go for regular mammography for prevention and early detection of breast cancer, (Unsplash/National Cancer Institute)
By Dr. Swati Suradkar


Breast cancer continues to be a pervasive issue among women globally, with a particularly high prevalence in developing countries like India. It stands as the most common cancer, constituting nearly 25% of all female cancers in India’s urban areas. Traditionally associated with women over the age of 40, breast cancer is increasingly being diagnosed in younger individuals as well. Detecting breast cancer in its early stages offers a high likelihood of complete cure, and screening mammography plays a crucial role in achieving this. It is essential for all women to remain vigilant and familiarize themselves with potential warning signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Here are 10 signs to look out for:

Lumps in the breast: A significant indicator of breast cancer is the presence of a lump in the breast. Although not all breast lumps are cancerous, any newly discovered painless lump should be thoroughly investigated to rule out the possibility of breast cancer. Cancerous lumps are often irregular in shape, immobile, and firm to the touch, usually devoid of pain. In some cases, these lumps can vary in size and texture, presenting as hard masses or thickened areas. It’s crucial for individuals to conduct regular self-examinations, feeling for any abnormal lumps or changes in the breast tissue.

Prompt reporting of any findings to a healthcare professional is essential for early detection and timely intervention. Additionally, routine screenings such as mammograms and ultrasounds, play a crucial role in detecting and confirming the presence of these lumps, enabling appropriate diagnosis and treatment planning.


Breast Cancer Risk Factor

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women, across India. Also though it can happen in men also, its incidence is higher in women only. Breast cancer may occur in the epithelial lining of the milk ducts. The cancer information programs have helped in decreasing the mortality rates in women.

Breast Surgeon in Pune


Risk factors for breast cancer:

Family pre-disposition: If a family member has grown breast cancer in the past, or currently has breast cancer, women in that immediate family have a higher risk for breast cancer.

Age: With years passing by, the risk of breast cancer rises. Most cases of breast cancer are detected in women over 40, though the number of younger women growing breast cancer is currently on the rise.

Reproductive and menstrual history: Women who experienced their first menstrual cycle before age 12, had their menopause after age 55, and/or never had children have raised the risk.

Bodyweight: People who are obese or overweight face a higher chance of acquiring breast cancer than those who weigh normal.

Diet: A high-fat diet raises the chance of breast cancer. Fat triggers the hormone estrogen that fuels tumor growth. Eat a low-fat, nutritious diet. Fill your food including lots of fruits and vegetables.


Alcohol consumption: Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol raise the risk of cancer.

Signs of breast cancer:


  • Painless lump in the breast
  • Dimpling of skin over the breast
  • Rash or ulcer over the nipple
  • In-drawing of the nipple or inverted nipple
  • Blood stained discharge through the nipple
  • Lump or fullness in the armpit

If any of these variations are found during self-examination, then one should discuss their Breast Surgeon. Please remember that early detection increases the chances of a complete cure.

How does the doctor diagnose breast cancer?

When you see a Breast Surgeon for a lump in the breast, he would check your breast completely. It may not always be possible for him to say what the lump is? He may go some tests to be sure about the character of the lump.


The tests commonly used are –

Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC) or biopsy: This includes taking out a few cells from the lump with a thin needle and examining them under a microscope.

Mammography: This is a special type of X-ray of the breast to identify any unusual growth in the breast. It provides the oncologist to assess the nature of the tumor in the affected breast and ascertain whether there is any abnormality in the other breast.

Other tests: The Breast Surgeon may also ask for other tests like a chest X-ray, abdominal sonography, bone scan, and PET scan. These are wanted to see if cancer has spread in the rest of the body.

What are the various treatment options?

breast cancer treatment in pune

The breast surgeon chooses the treatment modality after many factors like stage & pathology of cancer and your overall health status. Hence a couple of patients in the same stage may receive several treatments. The available treatment options are:

  •       Surgery: There are various surgical methods such as lumpectomy, mammaplasty, tissue expansion, lymph node dissection, & mastectomy. Lumpectomy is also called breast conversation operation or partial mastectomy. The above operations in combination with breast remodeling surgery can help women to develop the look of the breast.


  •       Radiotherapy: can be delivered before or after the operation. The program or regimen for radiation therapy (radiotherapy) is determined, usually given every day for a set number of weeks. Based on the extent of exposure wanted, there are partial breast irradiation, intensity-modulated radiation therapy.


  •       Systemic therapy: Early and locally advanced breast cancer are handled with systemic therapy which is of 3 types: chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and targeted therapy.


  •       Chemotherapy: is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. A chemotherapy regimen consists of a particular number of cycles over a set period of time.

If you have any problems with your own treatment don’t be afraid to ask your doctor. It is always better that you make a list of your queries before you see the doctor. The procedure differs with stage, age, pathology, and other factors. Hence, do not compare your treatment with others. Ensure that you are thoroughly counseled regarding surgical options – chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. 

When to meet breast surgeon?

Any cancer can be cured completely if it is diagnosed early. Therefore if a person notices any type of symptoms he/she should meet a breast cancer specialist. Dr. Swati Suradkar has great experience in breast surgery. 


Being Aware is the key to survival

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer found in women, across India. Even though it can occur in men also, its incidence is higher in women only. Breast cancer may arise in the epithelial lining of the milk ducts. The cancer awareness programs have helped in reducing the mortality rates in women.

Breast Surgeon in Pune



Breast cancer is characterized by the lump in the breast or thickened area in the breast, discharge from the breast, the dimple of the breast, peeling and scaling of the breast skin, and redness of nipple and breast. Breast cancer in many is without pain; however, the bulge and breast skin changes may require immediate attention.



Breast cancer is marked by abnormal cell growth, which forms a lump or mass in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma) or the lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in the cells or tissues of the breast. Though the exact causes of breast cancer are unknown, it is considered as the fall-out of each individual’s genetic makeup and the environment. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the two breast and ovarian cancer-causing genes that have been identified.


Risk factors and complications

Breast cancer is usually seen in elderly women and those with a family history of cancer. Those women, who have never been pregnant and those who had children post 35 are considered to be greatly prone to breast cancer. Lifestyle and personal habits also contribute to the lower or higher incidence of breast cancer in women.


Tests and diagnosis

A simple breast examination goes a long way in keeping breast cancer in check. Checking the breast for possible lumps or abnormalities helps in the early diagnosis of breast cancer and allows for customized treatment. Mammograms are recommended by doctors to confirm the presence of lumps in the breast. A mammogram is an X-ray that helps to detect breast abnormalities. Breast Ultrasound also helps in a proper diagnosis of breast cancer. It distinguishes between the solid mass and the fluid-filled cyst of the breast.


The doctor may also advise a biopsy for the extraction of breast tissues. The biopsy helps to determine the type of cancer cells, stage of cancer, the presence of hormone receptors that may influence breast cancer’s treatment. In addition to biopsy, the consulting doctor may also refer the patient for an MRI, to create pictures of the interior of the breast.



The course of treatment depends on the stage of cancer. Breast cancer’s stages range from 0 to 4. During the starting stage, cancerous cells are limited to the milk ducts. In stage 4, which is also called metastatic breast cancer, the cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. The breast cancer treatment process includes chemotherapy, hormone therapy, and radiation.


Breast cancer surgery is of different types. Lumpectomy refers to the removal of the tumor and the surrounding healthy tissues. Mastectomy refers to the removal of the entire breast tissue that includes lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, and areola.


Radiation therapy helps in killing the cancer cells of the breast. Radiation therapy may be recommended after mastectomy and for breast cancers that spread to the lymph nodes. Chemotherapy or cancer drugs are administered to patients before and after the surgery. Hormone therapy or hormone-blocking therapy is used to treat breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones.