Beware, Ladies! Coloring Your Hair May Up Your Breast Cancer Risk

Do you love colour your hair with different shades? Beware! Dying your hair could put you an increased risk of breast cancer, warns a new study.

Hair coloring may make you look beautiful and highly fashionable but researchers from University of Helsinki (Finland) and Cancer Registry of Finland have come up with evidence in this regard that may disappoint hair color lovers.

According to the researchers, women who dye their hair may increase their chances of breast cancer. Women using hormonal contraceptives are also at risk, they have cautioned.

The lead researcher Sanna Heikkinen said: “The biggest risk factor in breast cancer is high age, and known lifestyle-related risk factors include late age at first birth, small number of children, high alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle,”

In their research, Heikkinen and colleagues found that women who changed the color of their hair were at increased risk of developing breast cancer. Exposure to carcinogenics in the dyes elevated their odds for contracting the disease by 23 percent.

“There was a 23% observed increase in the risk of breast cancer among women who dyed their hair compared to those who didn’t.” Heikkinen said.

While assessing the factors that may cause cancer in breasts, Heikkinen found that hormonal contraceptives were also a key contributor in upping the risk of the disease.

For the study, Heikkinen and colleagues analysed self-reported survey data from 8,000 breast cancer patients and 20,000 controls from Finland. After analysing the collected data, investigators found that the post-menopausal women who used hormonal intrauterine device were at 52 percent increased risk of breast cancer, when compared to copper intrauterine device users.

They also found that the younger women under 50 years of age who used other hormonal contraceptives were at 32 percent elevated risk of cancer when compared with women in control group who did not use any hormonal contraceptives.

The number of opportunistic mammography screening, in which low-energy X-rays is used to examine the human breast, was found to be very common, with over 60 percent of respondents reported undergoing a mammography before the screening age of 50.

“Women should be more extensively informed of the harms of opportunistic mammography, such as accumulating radiation burden and the potential consequences of false positive or negative findings,” Heikkinen noted.

The researchers admitted that more research was needed to confirm the roles of hair dyes and hormonal contraceptives – especially hormonal intrauterine device – in triggering breast cancer risk.