Written by Ruth on the 17 May 2007
In June last year my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, age 51. She is not a smoker, not an excessive drinker, not overweight etc etc and so we can see no reason at all for her to have developed cancer. She had her lumps removed in July and she had chemo and radiotherapy and I am pleased to say (touch wood) that she seems fit and well and back to her former self! Although it was a dark journey in between.
After searching and searching for answers as to what caused this we ended up putting it down to “a lump with her name on it” (to quote my dad and not wanting to upset or offend anyone. This is just the way we are in my family.) Anyway, at the beginning of April I went to an antenatal class with a close friend as her hubby couldn't make it. The midwife taking the class was talking about bath time and what did they all think they would need to have to hand at bath time. The amount of mums and dads to be that said “Shampoo, baby bath, baby wash, talc” etc etc amazed me! Thankfully the midwife went on to mention that nothing was needed except water. She also went on to say that a well known and household brand of baby products were in the press a few years ago as they had “parabens” in their products (preservatives). Apparently these “parabens” are believed to be carcinogenic (cancer causing) by some and so there was a big scandal and they were removed. Although having checked out products since – their “Natural” range has still got them in.
I got home and checked all Jack’s things immediately and threw away anything that had any parabens in (methyl-, ethyl-, propyl- and butylparaben etc etc anything ending in parabens). I could not believe the amount of stuff I had bought for him, which was allegedly for sensitive skin from very well known chemists etc etc, had them in! It seems to be well documented that parabens cause a lot of allergic reactions too, so what a contradiction!!!! I never thought to look at my own cosmetics etc until I had researched it a little more on the net.
Basically to put it into my own words, because I am not a scientific bird (if you want exact info google parabens), breast tumors were examined and parabens were found in them. Now yes I am sure a lot of different chemicals were found in them too, however my understanding of parabens is that they have estrogenic effects. So in my opinion anything like face creams, make up, conditioners etc etc that are left on and sink in to your skin are sinking in to your blood stream.
We still have no answers as to why my mum developed breast cancer, but when I told her what I had found on parabens she rid her bathroom and bedroom of anything with them in just in case. We have both been on a mission since then to find products which are parabens free, especially after finding that a lot of the products we used on a daily basis had 4/5 different types of parabens in. Now apparently there is not enough evidence to support the argument that they cause cancer, but there are “legal levels” which certainly implies to me that they are dangerous. Many manufacturers we have spoken to say they “need” to put them in or their products would last a week! So how can some manage to go without?!