Hair-Straightening Products May Raise Uterine Cancer Risk

Hair-Straightening Products May Raise Uterine Cancer Risk

Women who use chemical hair-straightening products may be at higher risk for uterine cancer than women who don’t, according to a new large study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Study participants who reported frequent use of hair-straightening products, defined as more than four times in the previous year, were more than twice as likely to go on to develop uterine cancer as those who did not use the products. The findings were published October 17 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“This doubling rate is concerning,” said the lead author, Alexandra White, PhD, the head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology group in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, in a press release. “It is important to put this information into context — uterine cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer.”

Unlike Many Other Cancers, Uterine Cancer Rates Are Rising in the US

Uterine cancer occurs when malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. It accounts for about 3 percent of all new cancer cases, according to the National Cancer Institute, but it’s the most common cancer of the female reproductive system, with 65,950 estimated new cases in 2022.

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