Hair straightening products increase the risk of uterine cancer

Hair straightening products increase the risk of uterine cancer

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    Dr Odile Bagot (Gynecologist-obstetrician)

    According to a study published on October 17, the risks of developing endometrial cancer are multiplied by two in women who regularly use hair straightening products. Update with Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist and member of the Doctissimo expert committee.

    It’s a side effect that you certainly don’t expect when you go to the salon to take care of yourself. According to a large American study published Monday in The Journal of cancer institute, the regular use of straightening or straightening products, frequent in particular in salons dedicated to the care of frizzy hair, would considerably increase the risk of developing cancer of the uterus before the age of 70 (endometrial cancer , not to be confused with cervical cancer). “We estimated that 1.64% of women who have never used a hair straightener would develop uterine cancer before the age of 70, but for frequent users this risk can be as high as 4.05% “said study leader Alexandra White.

    A large study conducted over 11 years

    To reach these conclusions, the team of researchers followed 33,947 women of various origins, aged 35 to 74, for an average of nearly 11 years. During this period, 378 women developed uterine cancer. After controlling for participants’ other risk factors, the risks of developing uterine cancer were more than two and a half times higher for women who had used skin smoothing products more than four times during the course of the study. ‘last year.

    Also, these results were more relevant to black women, not because there is a difference between ethnic types, but simply “because black women use hair straightening or straightening products more frequently and tend to start using them at an earlier age”. For researchers,these results may be even more relevant to them.”

    A first established proof in the appearance of uterine cancer

    Previous studies have shown that these hair straighteners contain so-called endocrine disrupting chemicals. The products have already been linked to higher risks of breast and ovarian cancer. “These results are the first epidemiological evidence of an association between the use of skin smoothing products and uterine cancer.“, wrote the authors of the article.

    Early theories are that hair straightening products could promote the absorption of chemicals through lesions or burns to the scalp, or through the combined use of straightening irons whose heat breaks down the chemicals, notes the study. .

    Relatively rare, endometrial cancer is the most common gynecological cancer in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with rates rising, particularly among black women.

    Endocrine disruptors implicated

    For Dr. Odile Bagot, gynecologist and author of Endocrine Disruptors – War Has Been Declared! contacted on the subject, the discovery is unfortunately not a scoop:

    Endometrial cancer is a hormone-dependent cancer. The endocrine disruptors that we will find in food, cosmetics and apparently these relaxers, have an effect comparable to estrogen: they stimulate the cells of the endometrium, which will go through hyperplasia, a multiplication of cells, ranging sometimes to cancer. Obviously, these relaxers need to contain a little more than other hair products..”

    Interesting fact to note here: the products seem to be implicated in the same way as heating appliances, straightening irons:

    “VThis is perhaps why these relaxers have this effect: the hair is inert, it does not necessarily allow it to absorb a product. But one can imagine the iron releasing microscopic fumes and fumes here. Absorption would then not be cutaneous but aerial.”

    “Further research is warranted to identify specific chemicals responsible for this observed association.“conclude the researchers.

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