PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New research finds a potential link between hair products and breast cancer in Black women. The chemicals in hair products linked to breast cancer are found in a variety of products.
Doctors say this new research should be a warning for everyone, not just for Black women.READ MORE: Thousands Protest Outside Philadelphia City Hall After Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade
Crystal Love has a long history of using all kinds of products on her hair.
“I used to perm my hair, I used to color my hair, all of the typical things that women do,” Love said.
But, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and bald from chemotherapy, she had second thoughts about her haircare products.
“I’m like OK, I gotta pay attention to what I put into my body and put on my body,” Love said.
New research at the City of Hope looked at a popular hair product preservatives called parabens and compared the effects of parabens on cells from both Black and white breast cancer patients.
“We saw increased cell growth in the Black breast cancer cell line with the paraben treatment but did not see these effects in the white breast cancer cell lines at the dose that was tested,” Lindsey Trevino, with the City of Hope, said.READ MORE: Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade, Allowing States To Ban Abortion
CBS3 spoke with Penn Medicine Dermatologist Dr. Susan Taylor.
“There is a real need for more studies to clarify this,” Dr. Taylor said. “The ingredients have been reported in a whole host of hair and skin care products, not just those for Black women.”
Dr. Taylor says everyone should try to reduce the use of products that contain parabens.
“Parabens are what we call endocrine disruptors, so they disrupt or interfere with some of the hormones in the body and it’s felt that that could potentially lead to breast cancer,” Dr. Taylor said.
Love says she’s not taking any chances and is now only using natural products.
“I’d rather be natural and not have to worry about another what if again,” Love said.
Doctors say Black women face an increased risk of breast cancer, that’s probably genetic. More research is needed to be determined if certain chemicals up that risk even more.MORE NEWS: Roe v. Wade Overturned: Officials In Philadelphia Region React To Supreme Court Ruling Allowing States To Ban Abortion
Researchers say the potentially dangerous parabens are found in hair products used at home and in salons.