According to recent research from the National Institutes of Health, women who use chemical hair straightening treatments may have a higher chance of developing uterine cancer.
The study found that women who use straightening products more than four times annually have the highest chance of acquiring uterine cancer. More precisely, the researchers discovered that uterine cancer was more than twice as likely to occur in women who used straightening or relaxing products more than four times a year as opposed to those who don’t.
By the time they reach the age of 70, 1.64 percent of women who don’t use chemical hair straightening treatments acquire uterine cancer, according to lead study author Alexandra White, PhD. The risk increases to 4.05% for regular users of these products, though.
She said, “This twofold rate is worrying.” But because uterine cancer is a relatively uncommon type of cancer, she said, “it’s crucial to put this information into context.”
Use of hair products, such as hair colour, has previously been associated to an increased risk of developing other hormone-sensitive malignancies, such as breast cancer. But according to researchers, this is the first analysis to look at the relationship between using hair straighteners and uterine cancer.
The study looked at 33,947 women whose ages ranged from 35 to 70 over an 11-year period and their use of hair products and the risk of uterine cancer. Age, race, and risk factors were all criteria that the research took into account.
According to the National Cancer Institute, with more than 65,000 new cases identified each year, uterine cancer is the ninth most frequent type of cancer in the United States. Uterine cancer claims more than 12,000 lives per year.
According to the study, women who engage in little physical activity and African American women are more likely to use hair straightening products.
These findings may be even more pertinent for Black women because they use hair straightening or relaxer products more regularly and tend to start using them earlier than women of other races and ethnicities, according to Che-Jung Chang, PhD, one of the study’s authors.
The study, which was financed by the National Institutes of Health’s Intramural Research Program and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, was released on Monday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.