An alarming new study reveals the use of permanent hair dyes and chemical hair straighteners could increase the risk of breast cancer in women. National Institutes of Health researchers say the chances of developing the disease was higher for women who use these chemical hair products more frequently. The study's findings were originally published in the International Journal of Cancer.
For the study, the examined data of 46,709 women in the Sister Study. Data from the researcher revealed the following:
* Women had a 9 per cent chance of developing breast cancer if they regularly used permanent hair dye a year before enrolling in the study.
* African American women had a 60 per cent chance of breast cancer if they used permanent dyes anywhere between five to eight weeks.
* White women had an 8 per cent chance of developing breast cancer if they used permanent dyes anywhere between five to eight weeks.
* Researchers found no link between semi-permanent or temporary dye use and breast cancer.
"Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent," corresponding author Alexandra White, head of the NIEHS Environment and Cancer Epidemiology Group, told a news portal. Adding, "In our study, we see a higher breast cancer risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users."
The team were also intrigued by the link between chemical hair straightener use and breast cancer. Women who used this treatment every five to eight weeks had a 30 per cent chance of developing breast cancer.
Researchers of the study need to further investigate the relationships between these treatments and breast cancer before advising women about using these kinds of hair treatments. "We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman's risk. While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer." co-author Dale Sandler, chief of the NIEHS Epidemiology Branch, told a news portal.
Meanwhile, Lancaster University researchers have recently developed a blood test that could detect different types of breast cancers. "This research is an important step in developing a new way to identify the chemical structures of different types of breast cancers. We have been able to use these 'fingerprints' to develop complex algorithms that are accurately able to identify cells of four different types of cancer types," senior author of the study, Professor Ihtesham Rehman, Chair in Bioengineering at Lancaster University, told a news portal.
Adding,"Vibrational spectroscopy combined with data mining and machine learning has the potential to offer a real-time analysis in biological samples, including cancer, with excellent accuracy - creating a powerful new tool to sit alongside existing techniques and helping medical specialists deliver accurate and timely diagnosis for their patients, and for monitoring the progression of the disease."
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