Study: Permanent hair dye, straighteners may increase breast cancer risk

A new study has found that coloring and straightening hair can increase risk of breast cancer. 

The International Journal of Cancer published the findings based on data from 45,000 women enrolled in the "Sister Study". It was named for the fact that all had a sister diagnosed with breast cancer but were cancer-free themselves.

Conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, the study found that there is a 45 percent higher risk of breast cancer in African American women who use permanent hair dyes.

Hair straighteners were associated with 18 percent higher breast cancer risk for African American women while white women faced a 7 percent higher risk. 

The results suggest using hair dye or straightener could play a role in breast carcinogenesis.

However, the lead author of the study says women's shouldn't be overly alarmed by the findings since correlation does not mean causation. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have “reliable evidence” showing a link between cancer and hair dyes available on the market.

In conclusion, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has found that personal use of hair dyes is "not classifable as to its carcinogenicity to humans." 


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