- Using hormonal contraceptives or coloring your hair too frequently can increase your risk of getting breast cancer.
- Hormonal contraceptives was associated with 32% higher breast cancer risk among younger women under the age of 50.
- Late age at first birth, using hair color, high alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle are the other risk factors of breast cancer.
Breast cancer has a number of risk factors and now coloring hair, using hormonal contraceptives is new to the list.
Hair dyes contain several chemicals, which often raises the concern whether they can cause cancer. Several studies have been conducted in the past to check for any such association. Countries like the United Kingdom and Japan have banned many brands of hair dyes containing chemicals known to cause cancer.
‘Hormonal contraceptives and hair dyes are the newly identified risk factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer in women.’
Researcher Sanna Heikkinen from the University of Helsinki in Finland and Finnish Cancer Registry evaluated the contribution of the use of hormonal contraceptives and hair dyes on breast cancer risk factors.
"The biggest risk factors in breast cancer include late age at first birth, using hair color, high alcohol consumption and sedentary lifestyle," said Heikkinen.
They analysed self-reported survey data from 8,000 breast cancer patients and 20,000 controls from Finland.
The results suggested that use of other hormonal contraceptives was, by contrast, associated with 32% higher breast cancer risk among younger women under 50 when compared to women who did not use hormonal contraceptives.
The team also investigated the amount of opportunistic mammography, which was found to be very common.
More than 60% of respondents reported having had 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.