Some Creams May Be Risky in Breast Cancer Patients

-- Eric Metcalf

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Skin moisturizers marketed as "youth enhancing" may contain estrogens, and daily use of products with such ingredients could pose a theoretical risk to women with breast cancer, particularly those with estrogen receptor-positive cancers who are taking aromatase inhibitors, according to research published online Aug. 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Adrienne C. Olson, of Breastlink in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and colleagues write in a correspondence piece that they suspected estrogenically active substances in the skin moisturizer of a patient with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. They sent samples of 16 moisturizers advertised as "rejuvenating" or "youth enhancing" to a lab for testing for estradiol, estriol, and estrone.

The researchers found that four of the samples contained more than 0.40 percent estriol, and one contained 0.17 percent. Another sample contained 0.05 percent estrone. By comparison, Estrace vaginal cream contains 0.01 percent estradiol.

"We believe that women, especially patients with a history of breast cancer, should be able to understand the potential risks when exposed to estrogenically active molecules in commercially available topical moisturizers. Because our testing methodology was only intended as a screening process, we strongly encourage the scientific community and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to repeat and expand on the results of these screening tests," the authors conclude.

Full Text

Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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