Retin A and Breast Cancer- Is There a Link?

Q&A logoQuestion:  I used Retin A  and then  was diagnosed with breast cancer.   I want to go back on Retin A but don’t want  to cause a recurrence of the cancer. Is it safe for me to use it again?

Answer:  Wow,  this is such an important question-and given that its Breast Cancer Awareness Month, its the perfect time to answer it. According to Dr Albert Lefkovits  who is associaed with the Mount Sinai Schoo of Medicine,  Department of Dermatology, there are no reports  in the medical and scientific literature that  point to a link between breast cancer and Retin A.   In fact Retin A  is well known for its ability to normalize skin cell growth and life span. Actually about ten years ago there were clinical trials to see if Retin A would inhibit  breast cancer growth.  That didn’t appear to be successful, but it certainly does not appear likely  it would provoke breast cancer recurrence.

However the oral form of  Retin A  called Accutane has been cited as a pulmonary irritant and one doctor reported an increase in  lung cancer  in  patients  using the medication.   Since  the large Nurses Health Study  showed that  high doses of vitamin A supplements increased    several health  issues  there may be concerns  that any form of   Retin A, may be a risk   for some cancers. In fact another trial  with beta carotene (which is another form of vitamin A)  had to be halted bcause    there  was an increse in deaths from both lung cancer and heart disease in the study group. 

Given the  history of  different types of vitamin A and cancers,  I would definately ask  the physician who treated you for breast cancer for their  advice and recommendations. If you still feel uncomfortable about using Retin A, a program of  vitamin C serum, glycolic acid peels  and a good suscreen  will  provide  excellent anti-wrinkle benefits. Whatever  skin care program you choose be sure to avoid those creams with estrogens  which have been shown to increase cancer risk.Question and answer about beauty

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