Tuesday December 10, 2019

Regular Use Of Hair Dye And Straightener May Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer

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Breast cancer pink ribbon
Breast cancer survival rates are rising as screening and treatment improve. Pixabay

Researchers have found that women who use permanent hair dye and chemical hair straighteners have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who don’t use these products.

The study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggests that this risk increased with more frequent use of these chemical hair products.

“Researchers have been studying the possible link between hair dye and cancer for a long time, but results have been inconsistent,” said study author Alexandra White from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in US.

“In our study, we see a higher risk associated with hair dye use, and the effect is stronger in African American women, particularly those who are frequent users,” White said.

Using data from 46,709 women in the Sister Study, researchers at NIEHS, found that women who regularly used permanent hair dye in the year prior to enrolling in the study were nine per cent more likely than women who didn’t use hair dye to develop breast cancer.

Among African American women, using permanent dyes every five to eight weeks or more was associated with a 60 per cent increased risk of breast cancer as compared with an eight per cent increased risk for white women.

The research team found little to no increase in breast cancer risk for semi-permanent or temporary dye use.

Permanent hair dye risks breast cancer
Women who regularly use permanent hair dye could be increasing their risk of breast cancer up to 60 percent, according to scientists writing in the International Journal of Cancer. Pixabay

An intriguing finding was the association between the use of chemical hair straighteners and breast cancer.

The researchers found that women who used hair straighteners at least every five to eight weeks were about 30 per cent more likely to develop breast cancer.

While the association between straightener use and breast cancer was similar in African American and white women, straightener use was much more common among African American women, the study said.

The researchers cautioned that although there is some prior evidence to support the association with chemical straighteners, these results need to be replicated in other studies.

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When asked if women should stop dyeing or straightening their hair, study co-author Dale Sandler, “We are exposed to many things that could potentially contribute to breast cancer, and it is unlikely that any single factor explains a woman’s risk.

“While it is too early to make a firm recommendation, avoiding these chemicals might be one more thing women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer,” Sandler said.(IANS)

Next Story

Blood Test Can Detect Breast Cancer 5 Years Earlier: Study

The researchers are now testing samples from 800 patients against a panel of nine tumour-associated antigens, and they expect the accuracy of the test to improve with these larger numbers

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blood test
In a pilot study, the researchers took blood test samples from 90 breast cancer patients at the time they were diagnosed with Breast Cancer and matched them with samples taken from 90 patients without breast cancer (the control group). Pixabay

Researchers have found that a simple Blood Test can detect Breast Cancer up to five years before there are any clinical signs of it.

The blood test identifies the body’s immune response to substances produced by tumour cells, according to the research presented at the 2019 NCRI (National Cancer Research Institute) Cancer Conference in Glasgow, UK, on Sunday.

“We need to develop and further validate this test,” said Daniyah Alfattani from University of Nottingham in Britain.

“However, these results are encouraging and indicate that it’s possible to detect a signal for early breast cancer. Once we have improved the accuracy of the test, then it opens the possibility of using a simple blood test to improve early detection of the disease,” she said.

Cancer cells produce proteins called antigens that trigger the body to make antibodies against them — auto-antibodies.

The researchers have found that these tumour-associated antigens (TAAs) are good indicators of cancer, and now they have developed panels of tumour-associated antigens that are known already to be associated with breast cancer to detect whether or not there are auto-antibodies against them in blood samples taken from patients.

Blood Test
Researchers have found that a simple blood test can detect Breast Cancer up to five years before there are any clinical signs of it. Pixabay

In a pilot study, the researchers took blood samples from 90 breast cancer patients at the time they were diagnosed with breast cancer and matched them with samples taken from 90 patients without breast cancer (the control group).

They used screening technology (protein microarray) that allowed them to screen the blood samples rapidly for the presence of auto-antibodies against 40 tumour-associated antigens associated with breast cancer, and also 27 tumour-associated antigens that were not known to be linked with the disease.

“The results of our study showed that breast cancer does induce autoantibodies against panels of specific tumour-associated antigens. We were able to detect cancer with reasonable accuracy by identifying these auto-antibodies in the blood,” Alfattani said while presenting the research.

The researchers identified three panels of tumour-associated antigens against which to test for autoantibodies. The accuracy of the test improved in the panels that contained more tumour-associated antigens.

The panel of five tumour-associated antigens correctly detected breast cancer in 29 per cent of the samples from the cancer patients and correctly identified 84 per cent of the control samples as being cancer-free.

Blood Test
However, these Blood Test Results are encouraging and indicate that it’s possible to detect a signal for early Breast Cancer. Pixabay

The panel of seven tumour-associated antigens correctly identified cancer in 35 per cent of cancer samples and no cancer in 79 per cent of control samples. The panel of nine antigens correctly identified cancer in 37 per cent of cancer samples and no cancer in 79 per cent of the controls.

The researchers are now testing samples from 800 patients against a panel of nine tumour-associated antigens, and they expect the accuracy of the test to improve with these larger numbers.

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“A blood test for early breast cancer detection would be cost effective, which would be of particular value in low and middle income countries. It would also be an easier screening method to implement compared to current methods, such as mammography,” said Alfattani. (IANS)