Hair relaxers won’t raise black women’s cancer risk

Robert Preidt. By
healthday reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Moderate use of hair relaxers doesn’t seem to increase black woman’s risk Breast Cancer, according to a new study.

Lead author Kimberly Bertrand, an epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, said, “While there is biological plausibility that exposure to certain components contained in hair relaxers may increase the risk of breast cancer, epidemiological studies have so far been The evidence is inconsistent.” Medicine.

While the overall risk of breast cancer is similar for black women and white women in the United States, rates of aggressive subtypes are higher in black women.

It includes estrogen According to background notes on the study, receptor negative (ER-) tumors, which are diagnosed at a younger age and are more malignant.

Some hair care products, including relaxers/straighteners, are used more often by black women. These products may contain estrogens or endocrine-disrupting chemicals, but the link between their use and breast cancer risk is unclear.


To learn more, researchers analyzed data from a major US study of black women’s health, launched in 1995.

They compared breast cancer in women who reported moderate or heavy use of hair relaxers to those who reported little or no use of the products. The study found no association between hair relaxer use and overall breast cancer risk.

Bertrand said in a university news release, “Overall, our results are generally reassuring: we found no clear evidence that hair relaxer use is associated with breast cancer risk for most women. “

They noted that, however, there was some evidence that the heaviest users of lye-containing products — those who used them at least seven times a year for 15 or more years — had an almost 30% increased risk of estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breasts. Cancer.

Bertrand concluded that more research is needed to learn more about the possible association between certain hair relaxers and breast cancer risk.

The findings were recently published online in the journal carcinogenesis.


more information

The Environmental Working Group has more hair straighteners.

Source: Boston University, News Release, May 24, 2021


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