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Ovarian cancer linked to toxic hair relaxers

Ovarian cancer, the deadliest cancer of the female reproductive system, affects approximately 21,000 women throughout our country annually, whereas nearly 14,000 lose their lives to this severe health condition.

While the most common risk factors for this malignant disease include endometriosis, diabetes, family history of ovarian cancer, hormone replacement therapy, and obesity, a more obscure contributing factor is exposure to endocrine-disruptive chemicals. According to recent studies, women who regularly use chemical hair relaxers are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than those who never use such products.

A major study published in the medical journal Carcinogenesis found a strong causal correlation between exposure to chemicals in hair relaxers and ovarian cancer. Although the majority of these hair relaxers are marketed as safe products enriched with oils, a mix of toxic chemicals is lurking in them. Women who use hair relaxers regularly are exposed to the products' chemical compounds that act as endocrine disruptors in the human body.

Harmful chemicals in hair relaxer products

Chemical hair relaxer products marketed by well-known cosmetics companies such as L'Oréal and Revlon contain endocrine-disrupting and carcinogen compounds, which can enter the body and induce changes in the ovarian anatomy with every application of the chemical hair relaxer.

Bisphenol A is the most widespread chemical compound in hair relaxers among all endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and it plays a negative role in numerous female gynecological diseases, including ovarian cancer. Other chemicals associated with ovarian cancer found in hair relaxers are:

  • parabens
  • phthalates
  • formaldehyde

 According to a study from the medical journal Oncology Letters, these endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with hormonal actions, making changes in the female reproductive system. These endocrine disruptors, such as Bisphenol A, mimic the effects of endogenous hormones, and prolonged exposure to them could alter the functions of the endocrine system and lead to a greater incidence of premalignant lesions such as cystic endometrial hyperplasia or ovarian cysts.

According to medical experts, ovarian cancer is more common in Caucasian than in African-American women. However, over 60% of women who use chemical hair relaxers are Black, and that places them at high risk of developing hormone-sensitive cancers such as:

Because these hair care products are often marketed to children and teenagers, most women begin using hair relaxers at a very young age and continue straightening their hair regularly.

These are the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • discomfort in the pelvis area
  • abdominal bloating or swelling
  • feeling full after eating small meals
  • persistent indigestion
  • changes in bowel habits
  • a frequent need to urinate
  • unexplained weight loss
  • back pain, fatigue

Efficient and compassionate legal assistance for women struggling with ovarian cancer

Approximately 50% of women with ovarian cancer are 63 or older. When ovarian cancer is caused by toxic chemicals in hair relaxers, it has a latency of 15 to 20 years or shorter. If you have been regularly using hair relaxers and now you are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, these are the eligibility requirements you have to meet to file a toxic hair relaxer claim:

  • you must have used hair relaxers regularly, at least four times in one year, for at least 2-5 years
  • you must have a diagnosis of ovarian cancer related to toxic exposure
  • you must have a diagnosis of the following subtypes of ovarian cancer: non-serous or serous tumors

We know that struggling with ovarian cancer can be overwhelming, which is why our team of experts will evaluate your case. Shortly after we thoroughly evaluate your situation, we will inform you if you meet the eligibility requirements for filing a toxic hair relaxer claim.

Regardless of what hair relaxer products you use, if you have ovarian cancer, there might be a correlation; therefore, please do not hesitate to contact Atraxia Law. If we deem you eligible, we will put you in contact with an experienced and reliable attorney.

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