When a patient is diagnosed with cancer and their treatment protocol includes radiation therapy, there is a good chance that they will be told to discontinue their use of standard antiperspirant deodorants. This is because in some cases, the chemicals that are found in these products can have an accelerating effect on radiation dermatitis, a side effect that leaves the skin that has been exposed to radiation red, sensitive, and inflamed.
The warning against deodorants has been particularly prevalent for women who are being treated for breast cancer. Because the treatment field often includes tissue that is close to the armpit, they are the ones who have most frequently been given this restriction. But according to a study conducted by researchers at the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, Alberta in 2010, there is no truth to the idea that deodorants lead to a higher likelihood of inflammation.
According to Dr. Phillip Devlin, a radiation oncologist at Harvard University,
“The advice to stop using deodorant during radiation therapy came from the belief that heavier elements in some antiperspirants, such as aluminum, would interact with radiation to create a higher dose and a greater risk of skin toxicity.”
The new study has disproven that notion, and Dr. Julia Wong, a radiation oncologist at the Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston feels that this will provide women undergoing treatment with one less thing to worry about.
“I believe a significant, or at least a modest, proportion of our patients are inconvenienced and likely distressed by the deodorant limitation during radiation. Few voice objections, probably given the situation at hand, but I expect is is on the minds of many of our patients.”
Though the study proves the idea that deodorant can’t be worn during radiation therapy to be little more than an old wives’ tale, some physicians are still asking their patients to avoid using products that contain aluminum. If you have been given this restriction and are concerned about perspiration or odor, here’s a list of some of the best deodorants for cancer patients. These deodorants for cancer patients are effective and contain none of the ingredients that physicians are concerned about:
Crystal is a natural deodorant that is made from mineral salts. It is unscented and available in a stick, roll-on, spray, rock or towelette.
Nourish Organic Deodorant
Nourish is made by Arm & Hammer. It is described as a natural, fresh deodorant that uses baking soda to naturally absorb and eliminate odors. It contains no aluminum, no parabens, no colorants and no animal-derived ingredients.
Alras is an all-natural product that contains no metallic or aluminum ingredients.
Jason Aloe Vera
Jason Aloe Vera is a natural deodorant that provides odor protection gently and safely. It contains no alcohol or metals, relying on corn starch and aloe vera gel to provide a fresh, clean feeling.
Piper Wai is a charcoal crème deodorant. It is completely natural, absorbing wetness and creating a pH balanced environment to keep users smelling fresh. It contains skin conditioning ingredients that fight irritation.
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