Uterine Cancer Risk Increases with Hair-Straightening Chemical Products

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According to the National Institutes of Health, a recent study found that women who use chemical hair-straightening product more frequently than those who don’t.

Researchers discovered that women who had used chemicals in their hair were at higher risk for hormone-related cancer.

This information comes directly from the Sister Study, which includes 33,497 U.S. Women aged 35 to 74. This Sister Study is an NIH research effort to identify causes of cancer by enrolling women with breast cancer and their sisters, according to the Sister Study’s Website.

Uterine Cancer is the most common type of cancer of the female reproductive systems, but it only accounts for 3%. According toThe NIH. According to the NIH, hormone-related cancers have been rising in incidence and mortality rates in America, with 65,950 cases of new cases in 2022 alone.

“We estimated that 1.64% of women who never used hair straighteners would go on to develop uterine cancer by the age of 70; but for frequent users, that risk goes up to 4.05%,”Alexandra White Ph.D. is the principal author of this new study. “This doubling rate is concerning. However, it is important to put this information into context – uterine cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer.”

The study found that there were no differences in risk ratios among races. However, it was important to further research the adverse effects on Black and/or African American women from increased use of hair products.

“More research is warranted to confirm our novel findings in different populations, particularly in African American and/or Black women because of the high prevalence of straightener use, and to evaluate the potential contribution of hair products to health disparities in uterine cancer,”According to the Study.

The study did not include specific ingredients for straighteners. This was a limitation. Although the paper did mention different chemicals found in hair products like formaldehyde which has been linked with cancer, the study didn’t specifically ask for information about specific straightening or pressing products. 

“Future efforts are also needed to identify the chemical ingredients, which might result in the elevated rates. Given the widespread use of hair products and the rising incidence of uterine cancer, our findings which identify hair straightener use as a potential target for intervention are particularly relevant for public health approaches to reduce uterine cancer incidence,”The study was reported.

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