I wonder how they do it. Companies using parabens on their products for decades say it is safe. But there are studies that suggest it may not be as safe as once thought of. So, is there a breast cancer parabens link? At the same time, is there hope?

Women and Cancer

The World Health Organization said cancer is the leading cause of women’s death worldwide. From 6.7 million new cancer cases in 2012, that figure will increase to 9.9 million new cases by 2030. Indeed, the numbers are depressing.

WHO breaks down the top cancer cases in developed and less-developed countries and found:

Developed countries. Leading causes of cancer deaths are breast, lung, and colorectal cancers.

Less-developed countries. Leading causes of cancer deaths are breast, cervical, and lung cancers.

Selected References from American Cancer Society:

Global Burden of Cancer in Women

Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2015-2016


Parabens are compounds used as preservatives in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industry. They are cheap and used to extend the shelf life of products for more than seven decades. In other words, parabens are preservatives.

Some of the most common parabens include:

  • Methylparaben
  • Ethylparaben
  • Propylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Benzylparaben
  • Isopropylparaben
  • Isobutylparaben

Why don’t you take a look at the products you use at home? Check your personal care and beauty products. At the same time, look at the labels. If you see any of the above ingredients, then think twice before you continue using. Next, if the label is incomplete or written in a foreign language, how sure are you that the ingredients are safe?

Parabens Are Safe or Dangerous?

Parabens are safe for use at its current exposure levels. That is the position taken by agencies tasked to safeguard our wellbeing. These agencies are Health Canada, U.S. FDA, and EC’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products. Click on each agency’s link to see their positions on parabens.

As the title implies, I have rewritten and updated the content of this post. In the original post, I took a neutral stance on the attitude of above-mentioned agencies. It has been two years since I published the original post in an older blog. As a result of the seeming inaction of the agencies I mentioned, I am getting the impression that safety is second to economics.

Dr. Philippa Darbre on Breast Cancer Parabens Link

Dr. Darbre and her team of researchers had been doing research and clinical trials for over a decade. I first heard about her when a report she published took the media by storm. In a 2004 study, they found parabens to be oestrogenic and present in breast tumor tissues.

As expected, companies using parabens started campaigns to discredit Dr. Philippa Darbre’s research. For example, it is 2016 now. Searching for relevant information on breast cancer parabens link is frustrating. I see old articles with no updates, and even if there are newer articles, some continue to state their case against the 2004 study.

Since then, there are more than fifty studies published. Being a woman, would it bother you knowing parabens enable multiple cancer hallmarks in breast epithelial cells? As a matter of fact, that is what a 2014 study showed.

Parabens in Personal Care and Beauty Products

I expected women to be more invested in breast cancer parabens link. Unfortunately, in as far as I observed, more women think beauty is more important than health.

In some ways, it is a corruption of the essence of being a positive person. Instead of seeing the negative, find the positives. In the same way, many people focus on the benefits of using personal care and beauty products instead of watching out for parabens.

How Much Is Enough?

The exact mechanism by which parabens enters the body is not clear. What is clear is that parabens excreted from the body retain its chemical composition. This suggests that the body cannot defend itself from parabens. The fact that parabens from skin care products find its way inside the body is cause for concern.

Does the body excrete all parabens in the body within 24 hours? Because most people use more than one product, how high is the exposure level? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out using more products with parabens result in higher exposures.

While there is no conclusive evidence showing parabens cause cancer, recent studies suggest otherwise. Furthermore, what is the upper limit of exposure to parabens? Finally, how much is enough?

I believe in the existence of breast cancer parabens link. But it is up to you to decide how important your health is.