Published: Fri, December 06, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Permanent Hair Dye, Chemical Straighteners May Boost Risk of Breast Cancer

Permanent Hair Dye, Chemical Straighteners May Boost Risk of Breast Cancer

The National Institute of Health reported Wednesday that women who use these chemicals face a higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who do not.

The study doesn't pinpoint which of the chemicals caused the damage, but makes some suggestions: Some aromatic amines, chemicals also found in tobacco smoke and industrial byproducts, disrupt the endocrine system, and some dyes have been found to induce tumors in rats' mammary glands.

Black women were also far more likely to report using chemical straighteners with 74 percent compared to three percent of white women.

Some recent studies have indicated that use of dark hair dyes and straightening agents has been linked to the chances of developing breast cancer.

"Maybe these products cause cancer, maybe they don't", said Brawley, who was not involved with the study.

"It is important to note that the study's authors Dale Sandler, PhD and Alexandria White, PhD, researchers at the Epidemiology Branch of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), urged caution when interpreting the study results".

Black women who used permanent hair dye had a 45% higher risk of breast cancer, compared to non-users.

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One breast cancer expert said she read the new study with "surprise and dismay". To reduce risk, researcher White says women might want to choose these products instead. The study did not look at the specific ingredients in the products women were using, only at whether they had used the product and whether they developed breast cancer.

"These women were all at varying increased risks based on the virtue of the fact that they had at least one first-degree relative [a sister] with a history of breast cancer, and maybe more", Cassell noted.

Which chemical can cause breast cancer?

"The majority of the cohort studied were non-Hispanic white, well educated, and economically well off. Women recruited for the study were at higher risk for breast cancer". One fact which can not be ignored about this health study is that it's been done on fewer than 10% of black women just for once that too more than eight years on an average. "But maybe this is something that science simply just can not answer".

Even the researchers admit that the study, while noteworthy, must be taken in greater context.

According to Browne, the key lesson from this study for both doctors and patients is that "when we are aware of a new association (of breast cancer risk) we need to increase our surveillance" to include this potential risk factor in doctor-patient discussions.

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