Bad Armpit Odor Predicts Breast Cancer Risk

Jun 03, 2009
Women, having unpleasant armpit odor and wet and viscous earwax, may need to check themselves for breast cancer, a new study suggests.

Japanese scientists found that breast cancer gene causes such symptoms as excessive armpit odor and wet and sticky earwax.

Toshihisa Ishikawa, a professor from the Department of Biomolecular Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and the leading researcher said that the findings could help women identify early signs of breast cancer to get treatment as soon as possible.

Researchers studied the activity of the protein produced by the ABCC11 gene, associated with breast cancer.  Ishikawa and his colleagues expressed the ABCC11 gene and variant proteins in artificially grown human embryonic cell of the kidney and analyzed various connections between the cells and the molecules of this gene. They discovered that this gene produces the bad armpit smell and wet-like earwax.

The results of the study could be helpful for both specialists and people to estimate their risk of breast cancer.

The study was published in the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal.


Jan 23, 2017 08:29 PM » posted by: Nea
Wash armpits,groin and feet with hydrogen peroxide. Make sure you are wearing clean, loose breathe able clothes. Change and clean bras often. If this works, then the smell is normal bacteria (usually onion for women). If not, see the doctor. See the doctor anyway if worried! Note that aluminum based antiperspirants have been linked to breast cancer especially near the armpit.

Aug 22, 2016 12:22 AM » posted by: Betsy
I am 39 recently diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma, It was not detectable via mammogram and usually does not show up on ultra sounds, I had a lumpectomy and the margins were positive, I am waiting to have a mastectomy to remove the rest of the tissue. I have also noticed a foul, musty smell only coming from my RT armpit and sticky watery brownish earwax, it prompted me to do a search to see if this was related and that's when I came across this site. I was suspicious that it was related but now feel sure.

Jun 24, 2016 06:38 PM » posted by: Lorayne Pate
Yes.. to cancer causing bad underarm odor. I had never barely needed deod. I had lumpectomy under right armpit. No radiation needed. Not long after that, I smelled horrible under only that one armpit.that was 4 yrs ago. I did a body detox. The scar that was only lump I felt from drainage, enlarged and was coming thru the skin and pink. Dr. took it out at once. It was cancer again. But they think they got it all. One month, I keep hoping that odor doesn't come back. To combat it, my home made remedy worked great for up to 4 days or more. Then I applied it again. Equal portions of baking soda (lessen up a little on this if you are sensitive to it, cornstarch & coconut oil. Mix and apply, wet your fingers to it if it is too dry. Works for odor great, but definitely go get an ultra sound of mammo doesn't reach. Mine came back thru the drain scar. (am wondering if the detox worked it out that way) instead of other elimination thru bowel. It ws handy and in the area. Alternative medicine is great, but we still need Doctors, by the way in that area, I did a local, picking hurts some but no anesthesia is great as I get very sick from it. No pain in that area (on side under armpit) still called breast cancer.

Mar 29, 2016 10:25 PM » posted by: Barb
I did have watery ear wax. All my life. I was diagnosed with invasive lobular breast cancer I had a lumpectomy and radiation. About three months after radiation ended the musty/strange/horrid odor started under my arm and a little behind my armpit, where I had three lymph nodes removed. My mother had the horrid underarm odor and asked me what I thought it was. The doctor has no ifdea why it changed. She was diagnosed with lung cancer the next year. This was prior to my diagnosis. She passed away six months before I was diagnosed. I read others have this, but it seemed to be before the cancer was found, or during treatment, not after treatment like myself. Has me wondering if it is back and somewhere else now. I don't know why doctors don't put this as a sign of cancer. Too many as saying it happens or happened to them!!

Oct 06, 2015 12:56 PM » posted by: Ronda
Lavilin is good for both men and women. It comes as both a roll-on and a cream (more effective in my opinion). It's long-lasting (up to 4 days) and it's natural (no parabens, no aluminum). This is their website: www.lavilin.com; or you can buy it on Amazon.

Aug 28, 2014 06:47 AM » posted by: whatgoodisthis
Why are people describing their symptoms here? Go to a doctor for gods sake! Posting here will do you no good. You don't need a feel good reply-get yourself a doctor use your head!

Jun 14, 2013 09:28 AM » posted by: Brenda
Having just undergone a lumpectomy I can honestly tell you to get checked. The Susan G. Komen Fund is there for people who can't afford a mammogram. They will help out in any way possible. Please call your local chapter. Don't be afraid to talk to your doctor and if the doctor seems to blow it off find another doctor immediately! The doctor doesn't have to do the dying you do! Seek answers! Believe me when I tell you this is a hideous disease and it is nothing to fool around with.

Mar 19, 2013 10:28 PM » posted by: Shelby
I am 19 and I have had a lump on my left breast for about a year now. I have never had it checked out.I have never had bad BO and I never had to use deodorant because it actually would make me sweat. Here recently I have noticed I have horrible BO on my left armpit where the lump is, even if I'm not hot or sweating. I'm scared to tell my parents though because they think I am a hypercondriac.

Dec 10, 2012 05:51 AM » posted by: Doll
I had a bilateral mastectomy 11 years ago which was followed by chemo and 5 years of tamoxifen. I tested positive for the BRCA1 gene mutation. Recently I notice a great decrease in energy and horribly heady smelling armpits, although I am not actually perspiring much at all. I smell (to me) like chicken soup... I wonder if the cancer is back.

Oct 19, 2012 02:02 PM » posted by: Kiki
I've heard of a lot of different trmneetats ranging from eucalyptus to new types of drugs. If you're interested, you should look into clinical trials. These go on quite a bit and only need a little bit of research to find. The National Cancer Institute should have some pretty good information on how to go about finding them.

May 15, 2012 02:40 AM » posted by: mk
i had a lumpectomy done in 2006, had radiation and since then had very smelly underarm odour. mention this to my doctor but didn't get a proper answer. what should i do

Nov 03, 2011 10:48 PM » posted by: JA
I am 32 and the first time i noticed a change in my body odour was 4 years ago when i went skiing and broke my ankle, I thought this may have had something to do with it but since on and off I have an underarm odour which i think smells like onion and as you all suggest nothing gets rid of the smell, it can get really bad. I always run at a high temperature regardless of the weather and my wax in my ears is a more watery substance although not always dark in colour. My biggest worry is that my doctor won't listen to me, but I will book an appointment and try anyway. Thnks!

Oct 11, 2011 12:33 AM » posted by: linda
I thought my odor was caused by menopause or my thyroid. We just celebrated my sister being cancer free and walked for breast canceer! I will be calling my doctor. With all I have read I never read anything about underarm smell. I also have had very itchy breast, which also is a sign. Thank for the useful information be sure to tell every women you have a chance to talk to !!!

Dec 06, 2010 11:39 AM » posted by: Nina Smith
I too had underarm oder for close to one year. constantly complained about it and was told it was normal in older persons (I'm 77). After my routine, yearky mammogram it was discovered that I had had breast cancer. Had lumpectomy and from that day have not had the odor. Please doctors, listen to your patients. I just knew that something was wrong.

Jul 13, 2010 03:10 AM » posted by: MLL
I am 62 years old. Six weeks ago I noticed a strange odor coming from my right arm pit. Nothing worked to get rid of it: not frequent bathing, nor stronger and stronger deodorants. Today I saw my gynocologist for a small (pea sized) lump recently discovered in the same breast. When I mentioned the bad odor, she looked at me rather strange; however, tomorrow the test begin (mammogram, breast ultrasound, and breast halo. Thanks for the information because it helps to know that I wasn't imagining things.

May 28, 2010 10:11 PM » posted by: Gladys Goodey
I had a bil mast Nov 2007 because of 4 different tumors....and prior to the surgery my L armpit(which was the bad side with 8 of 14 nodes positive) had a strange odor. Now, nothing. I tend to think the cancer was the cause. Please, get checked, right away, it's nothing to wait about. I have had surgery, reconstruction, chemo and radiation and am now a 2.5 year survivor because of everything. Otherwise, I would probably be dead by now. Please get checked!!! I'm 56, was 53 when it was found. And, soaps and deoderants didn't get rid of the odor. It wasn't necessarily offensive, just a "weird" smell and I didn't twig on to it, until after the fact. Now, my armpits sweat, but no weird odors.

Mar 05, 2010 06:51 AM » posted by: JM
Wow....I found this very interesting! I am 41 and my holistic doctor suspects I may have a breast issue that needs checking out, but I haven't done so yet due to lack of funds. (sigh) However, I have now recently developed the severe underarm odor that does not wash away with anti-bacterial soaps, and I do have excessive and wattery dark brown ear wax (have had that for quite some time). After reading this, I will definitely make a doctors appointment sooner rather than later. Thanks for info!

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