Is there a risk of getting cancer from miraDry?

MiraDry uses microwave technology, which has been controversial for decades. Am I putting myself at risk of developing cancer if I decide to get miraDry treatments for my armpits? I don't necessarily have a sweating problem, but I'm excited about the idea of not sweating as much during the summer. I can't stand being sweaty all day long at work.


F, 40, Nevada

Tags:age 35-44 armpit risks sweat

As a child, my mom would always tell me not to stand in front of the microwave or else I could get radiation poisoning. That always puzzled me. I later found out that what she meant is that there was a risk of getting cancer from standing in front of the microwave. I still think about her words to this day. Before and after my miraDry procedure, I understood there would be side effects, but I never worried about cancer being one of those. I have not had any issues that major, and I surely did not get cancer after standing in front of the microwave all those times during childhood.

I had miraDry completed on my underarms, and I'm pleased with the lasting reduction in sweat. If you don't have a problem with hyperhidrosis and you aren't an excessive sweater, you will possibly need only one treatment. miraDry is a simple procedure that is not associated with a risk of cancer. The only symptoms that I experienced were some redness, mild bruising and skin irritation. I followed my doctor's instructions and took Motrin around-the-clock for 24 hours and kept ice on the area to reduce swelling. I was feeling great and returned to my routine within two days. My underarms did sting and feel tingly for about a week. Overall this is an effective solution to severe underarm sweating. I am thrilled.

One of the reasons I got miraDry was actually because I was worried about the risk of cancer. There's a lot of studies out there showing that constantly using prescription strength deodorants can increase your risk of breast cancer due to their high levels of aluminum. After miraDry, my sweating issue has calmed down enough that I can switch to a natural baking soda based deodorant instead. Before my treatment, I spent a lot of time researching the process. It turns out that the FDA spent ages testing it before it was cleared for public use, and there is no evidence that it causes cancer. In fact, microwave technology has actually been used to destroy cancer cells, not cause them to develop. My doctor reassured me that the radio waves don't even reach your lymph nodes, breast tissue, or other areas at risk of getting cancer, all it does is affect the sweat glands right beneath your skin.

I was concerned about whether miraDry would increase my cancer risk. While I wanted to treat my underarm sweating, I didn't want to do something that would create other health issues. At my consultation, I discussed the procedures and expressed my concerns about the connection between miraDry and cancer.

My doctor did a really good job at alleviating my fears. She said that miraDry does use microwave energy to treat the areas that produce underarm sweat, but it doesn't affect the lymph nodes. miraDry is FDA-approved and underwent rigorous clinical trials. I was told that there has not been a reported case of cancer linked to miraDry use. I was glad that I was able to express my concerns to my physician. I decided to undergo the procedure. I can honestly say that I'm glad that I did. I no longer need to change shirts twice a day to deal with sweaty armpits and odor.

I came out the other side of my miraDry treatments without suffering any long term side effects. When I was researching what getting the procedure would entail, I was worried that it would put me at risk of getting cancer. I further continued my research and never found anything talking about cancer resulting from miraDry treatments. I did learn that it was an FDA approved treatment, and that made me feel a little more confident about pursuing the cosmetic procedure. It’s been 18 months since I had it done, and there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I regret it. I can actually enjoy myself in social settings now and not feel so awkwardly self-conscious about what smell my odor glands might be radiating.

When I heard about the microwave technology miraDry would use to stop my hyperhidrosis, the first thing I thought of was cancer. My doctor reassured me that miraDry would not put me at risk of developing the disease, but I just couldn’t accept that as being true. I started searching online for anyone talking about getting cancer as a result of the treatment and didn’t find anything. I did, however, discover that statistically speaking, there has not been one official report of cancer being a side effect. I went through with the procedure (which didn’t hurt a bit), and woke up the next morning in some serious hurt. Despite the pain (which lasted for several days), the treatment worked really well. I no longer sweat as much as I used to, and I don’t spend as much money on colognes and medical grade deodorants anymore. If you still worry about the electromagnetic energy leading to cancer, you could use Botox to treat excessive sweating, but that needs to be repeated and not lasting results like miraDry.