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Study raises concerns about connection between hair dyes and breast cancer

Some chemical hair products may be connected to cancer

DETROIT – A new study is raising concerns about a connection between some chemical hair products and breast cancer.

The study, which was published in the International Journal of Cancer, studied more than 46,000 women who all have a sister with breast cancer.

According to the study, 55 percent of the women reported using permanent hair dyes. The study concluded that the use of permanent dyes was associated with a 9 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer overall. That risk jumped to 45 percent for African American women.

Permanent hair straighteners were associated with about an 18 percent higher risk of breast cancer.

The study only looked at the use of permanent hair products, not temporary hair dyes.

Dr. Monique Swain specializes in breast cancer at Henry Ford Hospital. She noted that the study wasn’t designed to show a cause-and-effect, and the results aren’t conclusive.

She said women who use hair dyes shouldn’t be concerned, and should instead focus on other ways to prevent breast cancer, such as breast feeding, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, and drinking less alcohol.


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