Hair-straightening products increase risk of uterine cancer, study finds

Women who frequently use these products are twice as likely as others to develop uterine cancer, according to a study published on Monday.

Straightening products used to straighten hair, especially by black women, pose an increased risk of cancer of the uterus (especially endometrial cancer, not to be confused with cancer of the cervix), according to a new study from the American Institutes of Health.

“We estimate that 1.64% of women who have never used a hair straightening product will have developed uterine cancer by their 70s, but for frequent users this risk increases to 4.05%” , said in a press release Alexandra White, lead author of this study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“The doubling of this rate is concerning,” she added, but “it is important to put this information into context, uterine cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer.” It accounts for about 3% of new cancer cases in the United States.

An 11-year study

The study is based on data from nearly 33,500 American women, followed over almost 11 years. “Because black women use hair straightening or hair straightening products more frequently and tend to start younger (…), these results could be particularly interesting for them”, underlined Che-Jung Chang, co-author of these jobs.

In this study, about 60% of women who reported using hair straightening products in the past year identified as black.

Compared to other beauty products, hair straightening products could promote the absorption of chemicals through lesions or burns caused to the scalp, or by the joint use of straightening irons whose heat breaks down the chemicals. , notes the study.

Previous work using a similar cohort of women had already raised a link between relaxers and increased risk of breast cancer. But the researchers point out that more research is needed to determine specifically which products may be linked to an increased risk of cancer.

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