Hair straightening chemicals associated with increased risk of cervical cancer in new study | CNN

CNN — Scientists are uncovering new details about the link between the use of certain hair straightening products, such as chemical relaxants and pressing products, and an increased risk of cancer in women. Ongoing research previously suggested that hair straightening chemicals were associated with an increased risk of certain hormone-related cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer, and new research now links the use of hair straightening products with an increased risk of cervical cancer. Researchers have noted that black women may be more affected because they use the product more. The study, published Monday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that 1.6% of women who had not used hair transplant chemicals in the past 12 months developed uterine cancer by age 70, compared with uterine cancer by age 70. I use this hair straightening product frequently. The finding also “remarks that cervical cancer is actually rare.” But doubling the risk raises some concerns,” said Chandra Jackson, a researcher and study author at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. “In this study, women who used it frequently in the past year were more than twice as likely to have uterine cancer,” she said. Frequent use was defined as 4 or more times in the previous year. The new study included data from 34,000 American women aged 35 to 74 who completed questionnaires about the use of certain hair products, including perms, dyes, relaxants, and straighteners. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health also tracked the incidence of cancer diagnoses within study groups. Researchers found a strong association between hair straightening products and cases of cervical cancer, but the use of other hair products, such as dyes, perms, or body waves, was not associated with cervical cancer. Study data showed that the association between hair straightening products and cases of cervical cancer was most pronounced among black women, who accounted for 59.9% of women who reported using a straightener before, although only 7.4% of study participants. Several factors can play a role in the frequent use of hair straightening products. With European-centric standards of beauty, subtle aggression and social pressures on black and Latino women in a work environment associated with threats of discrimination, along with a desire for diversity in hairstyles and personal development. expression. “The bottom line is that the burden of exposure is higher for black women,” Jackson said. “Based on the literature in this field, we find that hair products sold directly to black children and women contain several chemicals related to disrupting hormones, and these products marketed to black women also have harsher chemical formulas,” he said. she said “What’s more, we do know that black women tend to use multiple products at the same time. This may contribute to an average black woman having higher levels of these hormone-disrupting chemicals in her body.” Although the researchers did not collect information about the brands or ingredients of hair products used by women, the researchers wrote in the paper that several chemicals identified in straighteners may contribute to the increased incidence of uterine cancer observed in the study. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the relationship between brace use and cervical cancer,” said Alexandra White, director of the Environmental and Cancer Epidemiology group at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, lead author of the study. epidemiological study of Released on Monday. “More research is needed to confirm these findings in diverse populations, to determine whether hair products contribute to health disparities in uterine cancer, and to identify specific chemicals that may increase cancer risk in women.” Some of the substances found in hair straightening products, especially those most used and sold by black and Latino women, are hormone-disrupting chemicals, said Tamarra James-Todd, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. . This new study has led separately to some of the earlier studies looking for a link between hair products and cancer. “They modify the normal hormonal processes in our body. So it makes sense to look at hormone-mediated cancer,” she said, adding that hormone-disrupting chemicals can also affect other parts of the body. “The problem is that the effects of these chemicals may not be limited to hormonal processes, but they can also affect other systems, including the immune and vascular systems. Understanding how these chemicals work beyond the hormonal system is still a challenge. It’s a new and growing area of ​​research,” James-Todd told CNN. “So the way these chemicals work might be to alter immune or vascular responses as well as hormonal responses,” she told CNN. All of these processes are linked to cancer.” The new study was “well done” and shows a link between hair straightening chemicals and an increased risk of cervical cancer, but it can’t determine whether the product directly causes cancer. No, said Dr. Otis Brawley, a Bloomberg professor at Johns Hopkins University, who is a public health college and former chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said in an email to CNN that Brawley, who was not involved in the new study, said, “It could show a cause. “The question of how to solve this problem is difficult. The scientific ideal is a randomized trial of about 40,000 people. 20,000 people use regular head restraints, 20,000 never use it for 20 years.” “I’ve never used it for a while and I’ve been following it,” he added.

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