Study links dye and straighteners to breast cancer risk

05 Décembre, 2019, 01:42 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Breast Cancer Screening

The study found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don't use these products.

"All these chemicals are probably not good for you, but if there was a direct connection, one would think that we would be seeing many more women developing breast cancer because so many women use these products on their hair", she said. NPR's Patti Neighmond reports on the study published online in the International Journal of Cancer.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Ghana has an incidence rate of 2,260 per 100,000 women and 1% of cases of breast cancer is in men.

Also, the researchers concluded that "only a one-year period of using hair dye or hair straightener prior to the study was enough to impact breast cancer risk, which does not seem reasonable", she said. After eight years, she found a much stronger increase in breast cancer risk among black women compared to white women.

Breast cancer is the number two cause of death in Ghana and one of the leading causes of death globally.

It found a possible link between those products and an increased risk for breast cancer. Also, Black women are more often found to have triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type that frequently returns after treatment.

Personal hair product use varies depending on ethnicity. But here's the thing: African-American women are more likely to relax their hair (74 percent compared to 8 percent of white women).

"This is a very weak signal that these things might be causing cancer in the population", he says.

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It is estimated that more than one-third of women over the age of 18 in the USA use hair dye.

With hundreds of brands containing a myriad of chemicals, formulas for hair products are constantly changing.

Permanent dyes and chemical straighteners may increase the risk. A new study suggests they could.

What about temporary or semi-permanent dyes?

The National Toxicology Program has labeled some of the chemicals that are now or were previously used in hair dyes as "reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens".

The Food and Drug Administration regulates the safety of cosmetics, including hair dyes, but does not approve each ingredient used in the products before they hit the market, leaving manufacturers responsible for the safety of their products.

The researchers cautioned that although there is some prior evidence to support the association with chemical straighteners, these results need to be replicated in other studies.

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