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Permanent hair dye and straighteners may increase breast cancer risk

The National Institute of Health declared, that use of Permanent Hair Dye (PHD) is a possible risk factor for breast cancer. Is that the only risk from PHD use? The study drew on data from the "Sister Study". The study was done on more than 50,000 women across the US and Puerto Rico, who were between ages 35–74 and whose sister had breast cancer.

The study participants were from all over the US. There was a good bit of representation from the population of women although just a third of the women were pre menopausal during enrollment. The results showed an astounding disparity. Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60% increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an 8% increased risk for white women. The Sister Study also had 5% of participants with low income.

The study also found that women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30% more likely to develop breast cancer. Here the association between straightener use and breast cancer was similar in African American and white women. So straightener use is a clear risk across the board.

So does that mean, PHD is a risk for folks who have family member with breast cancer? Is that the only risk that comes with using PHD? What about the other sections of the population who use it? We will delve a bit more on this topic in future posts.

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