A study recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has linked the use of straighteners and other hair products to an increase in uterine cancer. The researchers used data from a related, ongoing study looking for risk factors for breast cancer and other health conditions in women. More than 33,000 women in the study were asked about their use of different kinds of hair products over the previous year including straighteners, hair dyes and permanents.
The study found that hair straightening products can contain hazardous chemicals with endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic properties. Endocrine disruptors can affect the way hormones act in the body. Exposure to excess estrogen and imbalances in the hormones estrogen and progesterone are risk factors for uterine cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, “After an average of nearly 11 years of follow-up, women who had reported using hair straightening products were almost twice as likely to have developed uterine cancer than those who did not, after adjusting for other factors that might affect risk. Women who had reported frequent use of straighteners (more than 4 times in the previous year) were about 2½ times more likely to develop uterine cancer.” Previous research has also linked straightener use with a higher risk of breast cancer.
Uterine cancer is one of the most common gynecologic cancers. Diagnosis rates have increased in the United States in the past 2 decades, with more than 65 ,950 new cases and 12 ,550 deaths expected in 2022.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, signs of uterine cancer can resemble those of many conditions affecting the reproductive organs of women. If you notice unusual pain, leaking or bleeding, talk to your healthcare provider. An accurate diagnosis is important so you can get the proper treatment. It is important to note that uterine cancer cannot be detected with a PAP test.
Lawsuits have already been filed against hair straightener manufacturers, and there’s still time for you to take action if you or a loved one were diagnosed with uterine cancer. Contact the experienced team at Clark, Perdue & List to learn if you have a case.