A Link Between Uterine Cancer & Chemical Hair Straighteners

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uterine cancer related to a chemical hair straightenerRecently, a study was published detailing the connection between uterine cancer and chemical hair straighteners. In the past, these types of products had been linked to other types of cancer, but now, uterine cancer is at the forfront.

Below, our experienced Kentucky class action lawyer discusses what uterine cancer is, its symptoms, treatment methods and of course, its connection to chemical hair straighteners and relaxers.

What Is Uterine Cancer?

Uterine cancer (also referred to as cancer of the womb or endometrial cancer) occurs when cancer cells are present in the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) or the muscle wall of the uterus (myometrium). 

What Are the Symptoms of Uterine Cancer?

Symptoms of uterine cancer can include pain during urination, pelvic pain, fatigue, nausea, a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area, weight loss or unusual bleeding between menstrual cycles or after menopause. 

Uterine cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive system accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases. Ongoing studies have shown that these rates are on the rise and particularly among Black women.  

How Is it Diagnosed and Treated?

Uterine cancer is generally diagnosed by several tests including a pelvic examination a Pap smear test. This test involves gathering cells from the cervix to look for early changes in the cells that can lead to cancer. The test is typically performed by a gynecologist (GYN). 

Endometrial biopsy is another test. This test involves removing a small amount of tissue from the uterus which is then examined under a microscope by a pathologist to determine if there are any abnormal cells. 

Dilation and curettage (D&C), also known for being an early surgical abortion for pregnant women, is another method to remove tissue from the uterus for inspection by a pathologist to determine if cancer cells are present. 

The rates of uterine cancer according to the study were 1.64% for women that did not use hair straighteners or relaxes. Women that frequently used hair straighteners and relaxers had a uterine cancer risk of 4.05%. 

What Are Risk Factors for Uterine Cancer?

Several risk factors for uterine cancer exist including age, weight, family history, type 2 diabetes, and exposure to estrogen. In a recent groundbreaking study, a new risk factor has been identified that has been shown to nearly double the risk of uterine cancer among women who use hair straighteners or relaxers. It is of importance to note that no association was found between uterine cancer and other women’s hair care products including hair dyes, bleach, highlights, or perms.  A link between hair straighteners and breast cancer and ovarian cancer has been suggested by previous studies but this is the first such study showing a link between hair straighteners and uterine cancer. 

What Chemicals Were Found to Make the Connection to Hair Straightener/Relaxer Products?

Dr. Alexandra White, the lead author of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Environment and Cancer Epidemiology group found that several chemicals used in hair straighteners may act as carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Hair straighteners often contain the following cancer-causing chemicals: phthalates, cyclosiloxanes, metals, parabens, and can release formaldehyde when heated. 

Filing a Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit in Kentucky

Close to a dozen lawsuits have been filed on behalf of women suffering from uterine cancer that were frequent users of hair straightening products. These lawsuits allege that the manufacturers failed to warn them of the dangers or their products and the increased risk of uterine cancer. The lawsuits have named L’Oréal as a defendant in addition to several other companies involved in the product development and sale. The defendants have stated that they do not believe the studies prove any such link with cancer. 

Our firm has a long history of representing clients against large corporations in cases involving failure to warn of defective or dangerous products. We are actively investigating all potential claims against the companies manufacturing, marketing, or selling hair straighteners.

Contact Our Kentucky Class Action Lawyer for a Free Consult

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer and regularly used hair straighteners or hair relaxers, you may have a claim for damages. Fill out our online contact form or call 502-210-8942 to speak with our Kentucky class action lawyer today.