Hair Straightener Use and Uterine Sarcoma Risk

January 5, 2023
Hair Straightener Use and Uterine Sarcoma Risk

Women who use chemical hair straighteners to smooth their natural curls have inadvertently increased their risk of deadly cancers, like uterine sarcoma. This finding was announced via an article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute after researchers analyzed data from a nationwide study of over 30,000 women and their habits. 

With this confirmation, women who have been diagnosed with uterine sarcoma are using this evidence against the makers of these products in product liability lawsuits. The personal injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group are seeking women who have developed uterine sarcoma after the long-term use of chemical hair straighteners and want to pursue compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. To learn more about the legal support we offer, reach out to one of our offices to schedule a free consultation with our team.

Carcinogenic Chemical Hair Straighteners Increase a Woman’s Risk of Uterine Sarcoma

Researchers with the National Institute of Health conducted a study of uterine cancer and chemical hair straighteners based on trends in the data produced by the Sister Study. The Sister Study collected information from women who had a sister who had been diagnosed with breast cancer to see what risk factors they could identify based on their personal habits, family history, and environment. 

Since then, the Sister Study has been used to look for connections to other cancers and health conditions. The NIH study that was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute noted that the women who reported using chemical hair straighteners 4 or more times a year developed uterine cancer at twice the rate of women who reported lower or nonexistent usage rates. 

How Chemical Hair Straightening Products Can Cause Uterine Cancer

The chemicals present in hair straightening products are endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The endocrine system manipulates the body’s hormones in order to control a variety of functions, including reproduction. Hair straighteners contain a compound that is similar enough to the hormone estrogen that the body is tricked into thinking that estrogen levels are higher than normal. This can cause unregulated cell growth in the tissues of the reproductive system that are affected by hormone levels, such as the uterus.

What is Uterine Sarcoma?

Uterine sarcoma is a particularly destructive type of malignant cancer located in the uterine muscles and the tissues that support the uterus. It shares similarities with both uterine cancer and endometrial cancer. Uterine sarcomas are considered especially rare, comprising only 3% to 7% of uterine cancers, which make up just 3% of new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. 

Due to the aggressive nature of uterine sarcoma, survival rates are low, even when it is caught early. Women who are diagnosed with early stages of uterine sarcoma have about a 50% to 60% survival rate. That number drops to an abysmal 8% to 12% survival rate when it isn’t discovered until its later stages. Uterine sarcoma is typically treated with a hysterectomy, which removes the uterus and prevents a woman from having children.

Risk Factors For Uterine Sarcoma

There are two important risk factors to note in regard to uterine sarcoma. First, it is twice as common among Black women as it is among white women. Black women are already at an elevated risk for uterine cancer related to the use of chemical hair straighteners, as they use them more frequently than other racial demographics. While a higher rate of chemical hair straightener use may explain this statistic, the fact remains that Black women need to be aware of their increased risk of this rare form of cancer.

Another risk factor to keep in mind is that the risk of developing uterine sarcoma can be impacted by prior treatments. If you have had radiation treatment to the pelvis for uterine cancer or endometrial cancer- both of which are associated with long-term use of hair straighteners- you are at an increased risk of developing uterine sarcoma. Other risk factors include family history, prior drug treatments for other forms of cancer, and a history of eye cancer.

Seeking Compensation in a Chemical Hair Straightener Lawsuit

In order for beauty companies like L’Oreal to be considered liable, plaintiffs must meet the burden of proof for civil claims. The evidentiary standard is that a preponderance of the evidence must support the plaintiff’s claim, meaning that their version of events is more likely than not. The plaintiff and their representatives must demonstrate that the defendant was negligent and this breach of duty led to the injury and the damages claimed.

Provided that the plaintiffs are able to accomplish this, they can recover compensation for a variety of economic and non-economic losses. When a plaintiff experiences financial consequences as a result of their injury, they can be claimed as economic damages and verified with receipts. In many cases, especially those involving aggressive forms of cancer, plaintiffs will also be eligible for extensive non-economic damages, which compensate for emotional losses.

Examples of Damages in a Hair Straightener Lawsuit:

  • Medical expenses
    • Surgery
    • Medication
    • Chemo
    • Radiation
    • Hospital stays
    • Lab tests
    • Imaging
  • Job-related losses
    • Lost wages
    • Reduced earning capacity
    • Missed promotions
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium
  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of services and support
  • Loss of parent guidance
  • Funeral and burial costs

Why Should I Choose Dolman Law Group to Represent Me?

The personal injury attorneys of Dolman Law Group have dedicated themselves to providing comprehensive, empathetic service to those who have been injured by another party’s negligence. Our team is made up of highly-qualified, award-winning product liability lawyers who are experienced negotiators, making us a valuable asset in your time of need.

We have earned a reputation for maximizing compensation based on the outstanding results we achieve for our clients. Powerful companies and their insurance carriers may try to undermine your claim for damages, but our formidable personal injury lawyers will leverage their expertise to recover the compensation you need for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses, like loss of quality of life.

Many of our clients come to us based on a recommendation from a friend, which is a point of pride for our team. When you choose Dolman Law Group to represent you, you can rest assured that our team will put in the time and effort necessary to secure a fair settlement. This diligent attitude and relentless work ethic have allowed us to accomplish great things for our clients.

Contact Dolman Law Group for Help With Your Hair Straightener Cancer Lawsuit

If you have been diagnosed with uterine sarcoma or lost a loved one to this deadly cancer after a history of hair relaxer use, you may be entitled to recover compensation for a variety of damages, including medical bills, funeral costs, and pain and suffering. The product liability lawyers of Dolman Law Group can provide the valuable legal insight you need to maximize your compensation.

We understand that cancer treatments are often exhausting and expensive. Let us handle securing you a fair settlement that reimburses your losses. We have the resources and expertise necessary to hold well-known beauty companies accountable for their negligence, even if that means taking your claim to trial.

At Dolman Law Group, we will go above and beyond to help you recover the compensation you deserve. You can rely on our team to meet deadlines, answer any questions, and negotiate strategically on your behalf. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our team to get a clearer picture of the legal options available to you and a better understanding of what your hair straightener cancer claim is worth.

Matthew Dolman

Clearwater Personal Injury and Insurance Attorney

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has represented over 11,000 injury victims and has served as lead counsel in over 1000 lawsuits. Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess or $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More