Did Chemical Hair Products Cause My Uterine Cancer?


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recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has determined a link between uterine cancer and chemical hair relaxer products. In the study, 33,497 women were observed over 11 years to identify risk factors for certain types of cancer and other medical complications. The women, ages 35 to 74, were asked questions about many things, one being their use of hair products. They also submitted medical records for the period of time. During the study, 378 women were diagnosed with uterine cancer.

The study showed that women who had used chemical hair relaxers more than four times in the previous year were twice as likely to receive a uterine cancer diagnosis. This is a troubling statistic.

While there wasn’t a determination that a specific race was more at risk of developing cancer, most women who reported using hair straighteners were Black. Because Black women are more likely to use those products and start using them at a young age, the number of Black women with uterine cancer was significantly higher than the number of white women.

The increased risk of uterine cancer is believed to be due to the absorption of the chemicals through the scalp.

What Is Uterine Cancer And How Prevalent Is It?

The most common type of uterine cancer affects the endometrium (the lining of the uterus). According to the American Cancer Society, over 61,000 women develop uterine cancer every year, and about 11,000 die from it. Most uterine cancer is endometrial, while only about 10 percent are uterine sarcomas.

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Uterine Cancer?

High estrogen levels are the major risk factor for developing uterine cancer. Higher hormone levels may be caused by early menstruation, few or no pregnancies, and late menopause contribute to increased risk. The use of birth control pills and specific intrauterine devices lowers the risk of a uterine cancer diagnosis.

Other factors besides the newly noted use of chemical hair relaxers include genetic factors, like a family history of cancer, diabetes, obesity, and a high-fat diet. Some genetic mutations and pelvic radiation therapy, the treatment for other types of cancers, tend to raise the risk of uterine cancer.

Some of the symptoms of uterine cancer to watch out for include the following:

  • Abdominal or pelvic area pain
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods
  • Lumps in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Unexplained weight loss

How Serious Is Uterine Cancer?

If left untreated, uterine cancer is fatal. Fortunately, when it is diagnosed early and treated, there is an 81 percent five-year survival rate. If cancer hasn’t spread to areas outside the uterus, the survival rate goes up to 95 percent. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment are the keys to a favorable outcome. Knowing the warning signs is also important. They help catch uterine cancer before it spreads to other areas of the body.

What Should You Do If You Suspect Your Chemical Hair Relaxer Caused Cancer?

Suppose you or a loved one has a uterine cancer diagnosis and believe chemical hair straightening products may have caused it. In that case, you must contact a product liability attorney to help you determine your legal options. Dealing with cancer is challenging. Doctor’s appointments, medical treatment, and possible surgery will give you more than enough to worry about.

Let the experienced attorneys at Ross Feller Casey help you with your uterine cancer case. In product liability cases, manufacturers often have large teams of lawyers to help them put their profits ahead of your safety. Our attorneys are used to dealing with those types of defendants, and we have a proven track record of winning these types of cases.

Contact Ross Feller Casey today for your free case review. You won’t pay anything until we win your lawsuit.

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