The study, led by researchers at Rutgers University in New Brunswick (USA), concludes not only that certain types of hair products such as dyes or smoothing chemicals (such as keratin) increase the risk of cancer Of breast in women, but this effect is different between white and black women.
The risk of developing breast cancer is related to a number of factors, and with some of them, nothing can be done about it (such as genetics or the age of the first menstrual period). However, there are others that we can avoid like alcohol consumption, some forms of hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills.
There is currently conflicting evidence as to whether the carcinogenic chemicals in some hair products may increase the risk of cancer.
Some of the demonstrations come from animal experiments and part of human populations – mostly focused on hair dyes – but the results for the latter tests have been mixed.
Breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women
The researchers analyzed data from 4,285 women from the Women’s Circle Health Study, which aims to understand breast cancer in black women.
Of the entire sample, in which women were between 20 and 75 years of age, 2,280 had breast cancer (1,508 black women and 772 white women) and 2,005 participants did not develop breast cancer (1,290 black women and 715 White). The ages of the women oscillated between 20 and 75 years.
The study data includes social and economic background, individual and family history, use of hormones, alcohol consumption, smoking, vitamins, or the use of hair products.
Examination of the data revealed some significant links between an increased risk of breast cancer and the use of hair dyes and chemical relaxants or straighteners and that the pattern of risk differed between white and black women.
For black women, the use of dark tints of hair dye was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.
For white women, the use of hair straighteners, whether alone or with hair dye, increased the risk of breast cancer.
The authors conclude that these findings support the idea of a link between the use of certain capillary products and an increased risk of breast cancer. “It is clear that further examinations of hair products are needed as important agents that contribute to the carcinogenesis of breast cancer.“
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