The American National Institute of Health has conducted research linking uterine cancer to chemical hair straightening products.
The Sister Study, a bigger investigation including more than 33,000 women to discover risk factors for breast cancer as well as other health issues, produced the data that was used in this study. Throughout the participants’ more than the 11-year follow-up, 378 women received uterine cancer diagnoses.
Read More: Males And Breast Cancer?
According to the study, women who frequently used chemical hair straightening products had a twofold increased risk of uterine cancer compared to women who didn’t. Using the goods more than four times in the previous year was considered to be frequent. By the age of 70, those who never used hair straighteners had a greater than 1.6% chance of acquiring uterine cancer, but frequent users had a risk of more than 4%.
Uterine cancer is comparatively uncommon, according to Dr. Reema Batra, a board-certified medical oncologist associated with a hospital. It is not frequently detected among women in general. Every year, 50,000 women are diagnosed, according to her.
In contrast, every year there are about 264,000 new instances of breast cancer. But she adds, “The results are intriguing and unquestionably call for further investigation.”
Regarding Uterine Cancer
Endometrial cancer, the most prevalent type of uterine cancer, develops when cancer cells penetrate the endometrium, the uterus’ inner lining. Dr. Batra claims that while the precise origin of uterine cancer is unknown, some risk factors are associated with the condition. These consist of:
- Advancing age
- Elevated blood sugar
- Neutral estrogen (HTN and DM2, two types of estrogen replacement therapies women might use to regulate their hormones during and after menopause)
Information on particular brands or components in hair products was not gathered for the study. However, it did point out that a number of the chemicals present in straighteners, including parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde, a proven carcinogen that can cause cancer, may raise the risk of developing the disease. To ascertain whether particular chemicals are raising risk, more study is required.
Why Risk Is Higher for Black Women
The findings are especially pertinent to Black women because they routinely use straighteners and relaxers on their hair. Black women made up almost 60% of the participants who admitted to using straighteners in the previous year. Due to the higher prevalence of use, Black women would be more likely to have negative health impacts.
According to Dr. Batra, the lesson here is that it’s critical to pay attention to the substances we ingest or apply to our bodies. “Any product, whether food or cosmetics, has the potential to pose health concerns to us.”
Dr. Batra advises asking your hairstylist what chemicals are contained in the straightening product you’re using if you decide to use one. According to the expert, many recent goods are more natural and contain fewer pollutants.