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Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer

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Does dyeing your hair cause cancer? New study finds possible link

Shu-Yu Tai26, Hui-Min Hsieh6, 7, Shu-Pin Huang8, 9, Ming-Tsang Wu57, 10

2Graduate Institute of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

3Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

4Department of Family Medicine, Kaohsiung Municipal Ta-Tung Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

5Department of Family Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

6Research Center for Environmental Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

7Department of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

8Department of Urology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

9Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

10Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Do Hair Dyes Cause Cancer

Permanent hair dyes produced before 1980 contained ingredients that are now known to cause cancer. These were eliminated from dyes produced in the United States in 1979, when industry-wide changes in the formulation of hair dyes were instituted.

It has generally been assumed that personal use of todays hair dyes is safe, even though there is some evidence that at least one cancer causing agentknown as 4-ABPcan be present in some dyes or dye-lots. It is not a deliberate ingredient, but an unintentional by-product of the manufacturing process. Another problematic chemicalknown as 2,3-Naphthalenediolwas banned from hair dyes in Europe in 2006, but may be present in some US hair products.

Because of continued concerns about the potential risks of such chemicals, along with the observation that the incidence of a type of cancer known as lymphoma has doubled in the last 20 yearswhile the popularity of permanent hair dyes has also increasedscientists have investigated whether hair dye increases the risk of lymphoma.

Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy for breast cancer uses strong drugs to kill cancer all over the body. It is possible that patients get this treatment to shrink a tumor before surgery, afterward to get rid of any remaining cancer cells or on its own if the patient cannot have surgery.

Whether or not to have chemotherapy can also be the patients choice, depending on their age, the type of cancer they have and its stage.

Chemo for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

If the patients breast cancer is triple-negative, which means the three main types of receptors estrogen, progesterone and the HER2 protein do not fuel the cancer, chemotherapy is typically the treatment. This is because the cancer does not respond to certain targeted therapies.

Women who are diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer have high levels of the HER2 protein on the outside of their cancer cells. For patients with early-stage disease, meaning they have relatively small tumors and no lymph involvement, a number of HER2-directed therapies have dramatically changed the landscape. These include chemotherapy drug trastuzumab , as well as pertuzumab , which is a monoclonal antibody used in combination with chemotherapy.

We wish Lohmiller a happy post-Super Bowl chemotherapy session!

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Hair Straighteners And Breast Cancer

Researchers conducting the Sister Study also found an association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and a higher risk of breast cancer. Most hair straighteners contain formaldehyde, a carcinogen, or a substance that is known to cause cancer. Straightener use is more common among African American women than it is among white women, but the risk of developing breast cancer from using hair straightener is not necessarily higher for African American women than it is for white women.

What Is The Evidence That Personal Hair Dye Use Is Associated With Risk Of Bladder Cancer

Does hair dye cause breast cancer? The science behind the ...

Research on personal hair dye use and the risk of bladder cancer has produced conflicting results.

An analysis of data pooled from 17 studies of personal hair dye use found no evidence of an increased risk of bladder cancer . However, some recent studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with the use of permanent hair dyes , whereas other studies have not . Also, some but not all studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer associated with the use of dark-colored dyes.

Because studies have shown that professional hairdressers have an increased risk of bladder cancer that may be due to occupational exposure to hair dye , researchers will continue to study whether personal hair dye use is related to bladder cancer risk.

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Permanent Hair Dye Does Not Appear To Increase Overall Cancer Risk Says Recent Study

In a recent study in The BMJ, researchers at Harvard Medical School evaluated personal hair dye use and risk of cancer and cancer-related death. The study authors analyzed survey data from 117,200 women enrolled in the Nurses Health Study, collected over 36 years beginning in 1976. They tabulated information that included age, race, body mass index, smoking status, alcohol intake, natural hair color, permanent hair dye use , and risk factors for specific types of cancer.

Compared to non-hair dye users, participants who had ever used permanent hair dyes did not have an overall higher risk for cancer or cancer-related deaths.

Among specific cancers, there was slightly higher risk for basal cell carcinoma in ever-users compared to non-users. Risk for certain breast cancers and ovarian cancers seemed to increase with longer-term use of permanent dye. Women with naturally dark hair seemed to have increased risk for Hodgkin lymphoma, and women with naturally light hair were observed to have higher risk for basal cell carcinoma.

The authors were cautious in reporting their findings, concluding that further investigation is needed to better understand associations that were identified. In addition, we should keep in mind that association does not prove causality.

Why Is There Concern That Hair Dyes May Cause Cancer

Many people in the United States and Europe use hair dyes. It is estimated that more than one-third of women over age 18 and about 10% of men over age 40 use some type of hair dye .

Modern hair dyes are classified as permanent , semipermanent, and temporary. Permanent hair dyes, which make up about 80% of currently marketed products, consist of colorless dye intermediates and dye couplers. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, the intermediates and couplers react with one another to form pigment molecules. Darker colors are formed by using higher concentrations of intermediates. Semipermanent and temporary hair dyes are nonoxidative and include colored compounds that stain hair directly.

Over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic in animals . Because so many people use hair dyes, scientists have tried to determine whether exposure to the chemicals in hair coloring products is associated with an increased risk of cancer in people.

Early hair dye formulations contained chemicals, including aromatic amines that were found to cause cancer in animals. In the mid- to late 1970s, however, manufacturers changed the components in dye products to eliminate some of these chemicals . It is not known whether some of the chemicals still used in hair dyes can cause cancer. Given the widespread use of hair dye products, even a small increase in risk may have a considerable public health impact .

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Personal Use Of Permanent Hair Dyes And Cancer Risk And Mortality

Assumptions of various latencies did not materially change the main findings for the aggregated and site specific cancer endpoints, except for a possible increased ovarian cancer risk with longer latency among women with naturally light hair . Similarly, we did not observe any major variation in the associations when follow-up was restricted to the first 10 and 20 years after exposure assessments stopped. However, there was a possible decreased breast cancer risk with longer follow-up among women with naturally light hair , and a decreased ovarian cancer risk among women whose natural hair color was black . In analyses that used baseline exposure information only, the results remained similar, although we observed minor variations .

Strengths And Limitations Of Study

New study reveals hair dye and chemical straighteners linked to higher risk of breast cancer

Secondly, the carcinogenic potential of dark colored permanent hair dyes are of greatest concern.127 Permanent hair dyes consist of dye intermediates and couplers, which can react with each other to form pigment molecules.12 The shades of color are approximately proportional to the concentration of ingredients darker hair dyes tend to contain higher concentrations of ingredients, whereas lighter shades contain lower concentrations.12 Additionally, lead acetate based dark colored products can still be found on the international market.14 Previous studies have particularly noted a potential increase in cancer risk for users of dark colored permanent hair dyes.17 However, in our study, we lacked information on the color of permanent hair dyes used, instead conducting analyses stratified by natural hair color to explore the question of heterogeneous effects only indirectly . Thirdly, the reported increase in using natural or direct dye in combination with permanent hair dye should be noted,1 and their safety warrants further investigations. Fourthly, attention should be paid to differences relating to permanent hair dye use in personal and occupational exposure settings. Although the chemical composition of hair dye products for occupational use is similar to that for home use, the cumulative dose of dermal and airborne exposure for hairdressers or beauticians could be higher than that of consumers.137

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Hair Dye And Chemical Straighteners

Many people use hair dye. Studies estimate that more than 33% of women older than 18 color their hair. Among Black women, using some type of chemical hair straightener is also very common. Research suggests that nearly 75% of Black women use some type of chemical relaxer/straightener on their hair.

Research also shows that hair products contain more than 5,000 chemicals, including some considered to be hormone disrupters. Hormone disruptors can affect how estrogen and other hormones act in the body, by blocking them or mimicking them, which throws off the body’s hormonal balance. Because estrogen can make hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer develop and grow, many women choose to limit their exposure to these chemicals that can act like estrogen. Other chemicals that make up hair dye have been found to cause mammary gland tumors in rats.

Chemical treatments used to permanently or semi-permanently straighten or relax hair also contain a mixture of chemicals. Many straighteners contain formaldehyde, which is considered a carcinogen, a substance capable of causing cancer.

Past research on any links between hair dye and breast cancer has offered mixed results. A few studies found a link, but many found no association. So the researchers who did this study wanted to add more information to the topic.

How Do These Hair Products Cause Breast Cancer

Breast cancer risks can be increased by a multitude of risk factors, including some environmental risk factors, many of which we dont fully understand. So we cant say for sure how these products are causing breast cancer, or even if they are directly causing breast cancer. We only know there is a very clear link. However, the studys researchers do point out:

Many hair products contain endocrinedisrupting compounds and carcinogens potentially relevant to breast cancer. Products used predominately by black women may contain more hormonallyactive compounds.

While no specific compound or chemical was examined in the study, it is important to note that a wide range of carcinogens are routinely included in hair dye, including many that have been proven to cause cancer in animals . One 2018 study that tested hair products used by U.S. black women, found 45 different endocrine-disrupting or asthma-associated chemicals, including 5 compounds in childrens hair relaxers that had been outlawed in the European Union .

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Why The Higher Risk For Black Women

The easy answer is that straighteners and darker dyes are more likely to affect black women because these products are used by black women more than they are by white women. In this study, about 75% of black women reported that they straightened their hair.

“Additionally, it is thought that hair care products made specifically for black women have higher levels of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. From previous research, we know that some compounds may bind to estrogen receptors, stimulating estrogen production, which in turn, can promote the growth of breast tumors.

Coping With Hair Loss Making The Best Of It With A Super Bowl Hairstyle

A New Study Links Hair Dye with Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Vivian Ruszkiewicz, a nurse practitioner with OhioHealth, a not-for-profit system of hospitals and health care providers in Columbus, Ohio, tells SurvivorNet that hair loss is one of the more distressing side effects of chemotherapy.

Its one of the things that people can see from the outside that people may know that you are ill, she says, and that poses a lot of stress for patients.

There are a large number of chemotherapy treatments that cause hair loss, but not all of them, she says others cause hair thinning. Ruszkiewicz stresses that if you are concerned about your hair, talk to your doctor or nurse practitioner about what to expect from your chemotherapy treatment.

She adds that some people who only experience partial hair loss still choose to wear a wig, like many people who lose their hair completely, before chemotherapy so that they are prepared, so they can feel more like themselves during chemotherapy. In Lohmillers case, she decided to make the best of her hair loss and embrace it, dying her hair to support her favorite team in the Super Bowl.

Ruszkiewicz says that hair loss begins about three to four weeks after your first chemo treatment you could start to see some hair regrowth about four to six weeks after your last treatment.

In other words, remember that hair loss is temporary!

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Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer

Categories:Breast Cancer,Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is a major concern among women of all ages. Prior studies focusing on the association between hair dye and breast cancer have come up with mixed results until recently, so the news can be confusing. That’s why one group of researchers decided to address the topic using sisters by recording the results over an eight-year period.

These researchers received more definitive results than others have in the past, and they were able to draw a clear link between cancer-causing chemicals in the permanent hair dye and the risk for breast cancer. So if you’ve heard of past studies on the topic and are asking, “Does Hair Dye Cause Breast Cancer?” you’ll want to read about the conclusions found by this new study to get the facts.

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The new study is correlative and does not describe a direct cause-and-effect relationship between hair products and breast cancer risk, but considering some of the components of these products have been described to be potential carcinogens or chemicals that can interfere with hormones such as estrogen, there is reason to believe the conclusions of the study.

The associations seen certainly could be causal, especially since there are known carcinogens contained in many of these products, said Dr. Anne McTiernan, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist in the Public Health Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. One thing that surprised me was that the effects of hair dyes and straighteners were seen in both black and white women. Often, studies dont have enough numbers of women from diverse race and ethnic groups in order to do that, she added.

Obviously this topic is useful to look at, said Dr Larry Norton, medical oncologist and medical director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Does this work merit further study? Yes, absolutely. Does this prove hair straighteners and hair dyes cause breast cancer? No. Theres a weak association but this association does not equal causation, he added.

Worryingly, the study also cited previous research suggesting that these chemicals, which can interfere with estrogen, may be found in higher levels in products targeted to black women.

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What Is The Evidence That Personal Hair Dye Use Is Associated With Risks Of Other Cancers

Researchers who reviewed data from 14 studies of female breast cancer and hair dye use published between 1977 and 2002 found that dye users had no increase in the risk of breast cancer compared with nonusers .

Research on hair dye use and the risks of other cancers is more limited. Although some studies have shown associations between hair dye use and the risk of developing or dying from specific cancers, these associations have not been seen in another study . Because of differences in study design, it has not been possible to pool the results of studies of most cancer types to increase the power to detect associations with hair dye use.

What Can People Do To Protect Themselves

Are Hair Dyes and Relaxers Causing Cancer?

Women should consider their use of hair products in light of the fact that the chemicals in hair dye may influence their risk of developing breast cancer, White said.

However, the overall risk observed in both studies is not large, and chemical hair products are just one of many factors including alcohol intake, body size, and physical activity that may influence a womans chances of getting breast cancer, White added.

The study also shows that using permanent hair dyes may not be strongly related to other cancer types.

In the Sister Study , we found no higher risk of breast cancer for use of semi-permanent dyes, White noted. Women might consider switching from permanent to semi-permanent products if those products would work for them.

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