When we buy health and beauty products, we expect them to be safe. However, recent events have shown that some of these products were made with harmful chemical substances. One such creation is chemical hair straighteners and relaxers.
Studies have shown that hair straighteners cause uterine cancer, a tumor that grows in the uterus. This article discusses uterine cancer, its effect on your quality of life, and why you should seek compensation from the hair straightener manufacturer. Our mass tort litigation lawyers at Rueb Stoller Daniel can help you get a fair settlement if you develop uterine cancer from a hair straightening product.
What Is Uterine Cancer?
Uterine cancer is an umbrella word for all types of cancers that develop in the uterus. There are two main types of this illness.
Endometrial cancer occurs in the layers of cells that form the lining of the uterus — a pear-shaped pelvic organ where babies develop. This illness is the most common form of uterine cancer and is often detected early. As such, the patient has a high chance of survival after surgery.
A uterine sarcoma is a rare cancer in the uterine muscles or tissues. It is pretty aggressive and has a higher mortality rate than endometrial cancer. Although uterine sarcoma is more common in women over 45, younger women can also develop it.
Endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma share similar symptoms. They include the following:
- Frequent urination
- Unusual bleeding besides menstruation
- Pelvic pain
- Pain while urinating
- A mass or lump in the vagina
- Weight loss
- Feeling bloated or pain in the abdomen
- Pain during sex
See your gynecologist or an oncologist immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
How Is Uterine Cancer Diagnosed?
If you visit a gynecologist because of the above symptoms, they will perform a pelvic exam. The doctor will also conduct a pap test and any of the following exams to reach a diagnosis.
- Transvaginal Ultrasound: It involves using sound waves to get an image of the uterus tissues and the pelvic area. The doctor inserts an ultrasound probe into the vagina to conduct this test.
- Endometrial Biopsy: The doctor takes a small part of the endometrium tissue for a pathologist to examine. The pathologist will analyze the tissue with a microscope to see if there are cancer cells.
- Dilation and Curettage (D&C): This test is also referred to as uterine scraping. During the procedure, the doctor places a curette in the vagina and uterus and scrapes out a part of the endometrium. Afterward, a pathologist will examine it for cancer cells.
- Hysteroscopy: During this test, the doctor will visually assess the endometrium using a thin tube called a hysteroscope. The hysteroscope has a light and camera and goes into the vagina and uterus to see the lining. If the doctor sees an abnormal growth or tissue, they will scrape a small piece for a biopsy.
If the biopsy or tests detect uterine cancer, they will do more examinations to identify its type and extent. At this point, the doctor will order more tests like bloodwork, a CT scan, an MRI scan, a chest X-ray, and a positron emission tomography test.
Depending on the test result, the doctor will determine the stage of cancer, from one to four. The lower the stage, the higher the chances of recovery.
The Link Between Chemical Hair Straighteners and Uterine Cancer
In October 2022, a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute disclosed a link between chemical hair straighteners and relaxers and uterine cancer. The study revealed that researchers from the National Health Institute studied 33,000 women within 11 years.
The researchers found that the women who used hair straighteners were more likely to develop uterine cancer. Some of the hair products used by these women contained a chemical known as formaldehyde. This chemical can get into the body through the scalp.
Following this disclosure, a resident of Waynesville, Missouri, Jennifer Mitchell, filed a lawsuit in a Chicago Federal Court. Mitchell said she began using hair straighteners when she was 10. She used the product for over 20 years, and when she turned 28, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and underwent a hysterectomy.
Since Mitchell filed her lawsuit, others have followed against chemical hair straightener manufacturers. In November, mass tort litigation lawyers representing different plaintiffs filed a motion in an Illinois court to consolidate the cases. So far, the court has not set any trial dates nor have the parties gotten settlements.
Why You Should File a Compensation Claim for Uterine Cancer From Chemical Hair Straighteners
Uterine cancer can take a lot from you, even when caught on time and treated. This is because the primary treatment for this ailment is a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the woman’s uterus and cervix.
In more progressed cases, the doctor may conduct a salpingo-oophorectomy involving the removal of the ovaries and the fallopian tube. With either treatment, the affected person becomes infertile. For women who want to have babies, this is a big loss.
So, alternatively, some women opt for chemotherapy. However, chemotherapy could damage the woman’s eggs or a part of her reproductive system. If the woman opts for hormonal therapy, cancer could return when the treatment stops.
Therefore, there is no option where uterine cancer does not leave significant damage. As such, you deserve to receive compensation. While the money cannot fully compensate for what you lost, it ensures you do not end up in debt from medical bills.
Also, the settlement compensates you for the emotional toll uterine cancer took on you and your family. However, you must be eligible to file a compensation claim. To prove your eligibility, you have to establish the following:
- A timeline of the product used
- The receipt of the purchases and times you went to the saloon
- The frequency you used the product
- Medical records.
Once you have these details, hand them over to an attorney, who will inform you of the next steps.
Book a Free Consultation With Our Mass Tort Litigation Lawyers
As mentioned, uterine cancer can take a lot from you, and you deserve compensation from the party responsible. At Rueb Stoller Daniel, we have decades of combined experience helping victims of harmful consumer products seek compensation.
When you come to us, we will examine the facts of the case to verify your eligibility to file a chemical hair straightener action. Once we’ve done that, we’ll commence getting you a fair settlement.
So, do you think you developed uterine cancer from using a chemical hair straightener or relaxer? Book a free case review with our mass tort attorneys today.