Chemical hair straightening may heighten breast cancer risk by 30% in women

Chemical hair straightening may heighten breast cancer risk by 30% in women

Women who frequently used chemical hair straighteners showed a 30% higher chance for developing breast cancer compared to those who did not use them, evidenced a recent National Institutes of Health (NIH) research.

Consistent use of permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners among women were found to up the risk of developing breast cancer, according to the study which is published online in the International Journal of Cancer.

The team analysed data from 46,709 women, among which fifty‐five percent of participants reported to be users of permanent dye at the time of enrollment.

The study revealed that among the participants, African American women, who used permanent dyes more frequently had a 45% higher breast cancer risk compared with a 7% increased risk which was observed in white women.

“Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent,” says author Alexandra White, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group, in NIH report.

“The team found that women who used (chemical) hair straighteners at least every 5 to 8 weeks were about 30% more likely to develop breast cancer,” she added.

The researchers reported little to no increase in the risk for breast cancer in women who used temporary or semi-permanent dye, although non-professional application of the chemical was also to be found associated with risk.

Co-author Dale Sandler, Ph.D., chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch, cautioned that though it might be early to make firm recommendations, staying away from chemical hair dyeing or straightening products, may help avoid one of the potential contributor to breast cancer.

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