HCP Live
Contagion LiveCGT LiveNeurology LiveHCP LiveOncology LiveContemporary PediatricsContemporary OBGYNEndocrinology NetworkPractical CardiologyRheumatology Netowrk

Some creams may be risky in breast cancer patients

Skin moisturizers marketed as "youth enhancing" may contain estrogen and could pose a risk to certain women.

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 August 3 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Adrienne C. Olson, of Breastlink in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 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% estriol, and one contained 0.17%. Another sample contained 0.05% estrone. By comparison, Estrace vaginal cream contains 0.01% estradiol.

Olson AC, Link JS, Waisman JR, et al. Breast cancer patients unknowingly dosing themselves with estrogen by using topical moisturizers. J Clin Oncol. Early Release, published online ahead of print August 3, 2009. doi:10.1200/JCO.2009.23.1225.