Breast Cancer Awareness: prevent, protect and pass this on

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Friend, mother, sister, grandmother… we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. According to Cancer Research UK, there were around 11,500 deaths from the disease in 2016 in the UK, with around 55,000 new cases recorded. The picture is not as gloomy as it once was though with breast cancer survival rates (a ten year period or longer) at 78% according to the charity.

Checking for lumps, bumps and abnormalities is key to catching any problems early – 23% of breast cancer cases are preventable – so when you use one of our organic body oils or creams, make sure you spend some time checking your décolletage, breast and underarm area. This simple gesture may be a lifesaver.

Take just three minutes and follow our simple steps below:


When it comes to breast cancer, prevention is better than cure, and together with Breast Cancer UK, this has always been our view at The Organic Pharmacy. Science forms the very heart of our brand and over the years we have shared many workshops and invited key scientists to share their evidence on prevention, the benefits of organic living and which chemicals and key ingredients to avoid.


Used as preservatives in shampoos, face creams and body lotions to lengthen the product’s shelf life, parabens have no specific cosmetic purpose. Look out for and avoid the chemicals: butylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben and propylparaben on ingredients lists. Parabens are known EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals) and may be linked to breast cancer.


Phthalates are used as solvents for fragrance, to hold colour and to make the alcohol in perfumes undrinkable. Only Diethyl phthalate (DEP) is used in the EU. They are found in perfume, nail polish and hair spray, DEP is an EDC and may be linked to breast cancer.

Synthetic Musks

Used as fragrances in perfumes, cosmetics and aftershave. Polycyclic musks, galaxolide (HHBC) and tonalide (AHTN) are EDCs and nitro musk, musk ketone is oestrogenic and may be linked to breast cancer.


Used in antiperspirants and deodorants, lipstick and some toothpastes. Aluminium chloride and aluminium chlorohydrate are oestrogen mimics and limited scientific evidence suggests they may be associated with increased breast cancer risk.


Used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes as a preservative and to reduce bacterial growth. It’s an oestrogen mimic, which may be linked to breast cancer.


Used at restricted concentrations as a nail hardener, in soaps and make-up in the form of formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (e.g. DMDM hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and Quaternium-15). Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and has been linked to increased breast cancer risk.

UV filters

UV filters such as benzophenones, ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate and homosalate are added to sunscreen products to protect skin against the damaging effects of UV light. They are also added to other products to protect from UV damage during storage. They are oestrogenic and build up in fat tissue (bioaccumulate). They can increase skin penetration of certain chemicals including those that are toxic. We only use mineral UV filters in our sun protection products, which are non-toxic to humans and aquatic life.

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