Women who use chemical hair relaxers at least four times a year can expose themselves to a greater risk of hormone-sensitive cancer, such as ovarian cancer. These products contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), carcinogenic chemicals that can cause hormone imbalance and cancer in the reproductive system. Ovarian cancer is one of the health issues caused by higher estrogen levels, and it can cause symptoms such as weight loss, back pain, and abdominal bloating.
If you used hair relaxers consistently and received an ovarian cancer diagnosis, you could join the many women across the United States filing hair relaxer lawsuits. These plaintiffs have consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) to pool resources as they attempt to pursue compensatory damages and hold hair relaxer manufacturers accountable for their negligence. Contact the product liability lawyers at The Russo Firm to allow them to use their years of experience to help you join the MDL and recover compensation for ovarian cancer damages.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
One of the types of cancer caused by chemical hair relaxers is ovarian cancer. This type of cancer involves the growth of cells in one of the two ovaries in the uterus. The cells that grow in the ovaries can multiply, eventually invading and destroying healthy body tissue. Ovarian cancer can affect a woman’s fertility and reproductive system, as ovaries are vital for storing and creating eggs and making hormones that control a woman’s menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Ovarian can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant and result in death. Tumors in the ovaries can begin as benign, showing no symptoms. However, they can become cancerous and fatally spread to other parts of the body. Obvious symptoms of ovarian cancer, such as pelvic and abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, trouble eating, and menstrual changes, usually appear after the cells have spread across the body and caused major damage.
About one in 78 women develop ovarian cancer at some point in their life, more than likely when they are at least 63 years old. Ovarian cancer currently ranks as the fifth most deadly cancer among women, which makes it the most deadly female reproductive system cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, only 20-30% of women diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer are alive five years after diagnosis. Women can suffer life-threatening consequences when they develop ovarian cancer because of the consistent use of chemical hair relaxers.
Chemical Hair Relaxers Contain Harmful Chemicals That Can Cause Cancer
Using chemical hair relaxers consistently can expose a woman to harmful chemicals known as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). These are chemicals found in hair relaxers that break down the protein structures of hair to allow it to be straightened. However, these chemicals have carcinogenic qualities, exposing women to cancer risk if they enter the body through scalp absorption. When EDCs enter the body, they can cause a hormone imbalance that can increase a woman’s risk of suffering cancer in the reproductive system, such as ovarian cancer.
The following are some of the ways EDCs can cause hormone imbalance:
- Tricking the body into thinking they are hormones
- Interfering with hormone production
- Blocking natural hormone functionality
- Affecting hormone creation and storage processes
- Altering the body’s sensitivity to hormones
How Can Ovarian Cancer Affect a Woman’s Life?
Ovarian cancer will likely not change much about your daily life unless it advances to a late stage. The earlier stages of ovarian cancer do not have obvious symptoms that can affect how you live your life. However, once cancer spreads across your body, you can suffer significant changes that can affect you physically and emotionally. Late-stage ovarian cancer can cause hair loss, fatigue, hormonal changes, physical pain, and changes to eating habits. It can also cause so much damage to your body that your life could be at risk.
This type of cancer can also affect fertility, as the ovaries may not be able to produce healthy eggs. Ovarian cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, can cause issues like infertility, infections, blood clots, bone marrow damage, early menopause, etc.
Black Women Have an Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer from Chemical Hair Straighteners
Black women are more likely to develop ovarian cancer than white women, and some studies have shown that this may be due to the use of chemical hair straighteners.
Chemical hair straighteners contain a number of harmful chemicals, including phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde, which have been linked to cancer. These chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and hair follicles, and they may increase the risk of ovarian cancer by damaging DNA or disrupting hormone levels.
Since black women are the most common users of these products, they have been harmed the most by this egregious negligence on the part of the product manufacturers.
If you are a Black woman who uses chemical hair straighteners, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and to take steps to minimize your exposure. You can do this by using straighteners less often, using them for shorter periods of time, and applying them to the scalp as little as possible. You should also choose straighteners that are labeled as “free of phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde.”
Filing a Hair Relaxer Lawsuit to Pursue Compensation for Ovarian Cancer Damages
If you suffered ovarian cancer from chemical hair relaxer use, you could file a hair relaxer lawsuit to pursue compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Hair relaxer manufacturers can be held liable in product liability lawsuits for failing to warn consumers about the cancer risk associated with the EDCs in their products.
Recently, many other victims of health problems stemming from hair relaxer use have filed lawsuits. These lawsuits began after the National Institute of Health (NIH) released a study credibly linking hair relaxer use to uterine cancer risk. In February 2023, these hair relaxer lawsuits were consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL), allowing all lawsuits to be seen before Judge Mary M. Rowland in the Northern District of Illinois.
Hiring a Product Liability Lawyer to Help With Your Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
Hair relaxer ovarian cancer victims without experience handling product liability lawsuits will need the help of a product liability lawyer. They will have the experience and expertise to effectively handle the hair relaxer lawsuit process and increase your odds of recovering compensatory damages. An experienced product liability lawyer can help you by calculating your current and future damages, determining the at-fault party, collecting evidence to prove your case, explaining your rights, filing the hair relaxer lawsuit, sharing resources with other hair relaxer plaintiffs, and keeping you updated on the progress of the hair relaxer MDL.
Contact The Russo Firm for Help With Your Hair Relaxer Lawsuit
The Russo Firm is a personal injury law firm that can help product liability victims recover compensation caused by dangerous products, such as hair relaxers with EDCs. We can help you recover compensation for hormone-sensitive health issues, such as uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, and ovarian cancer, caused by EDC exposure through chemical hair relaxers.
Our product liability lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience helping product liability victims recover compensation for their damages. They can help you determine the value of your lawsuit, file the correct paperwork to file your hair relaxer lawsuit, and update you on the progress of the hair relaxer MDL. Contact The Russo Firm today at (561) 270-0913 or leave a message on our online contact page for a free consultation with our experienced product liability attorneys.