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Uterine Fibroids Lawsuit

Uterine Fibroids Lawsuit

Hair relaxers have been linked to uterine fibroids, cancer, and other severe side effects that ultimately required a hysterectomy.

What You Can Do & How We Can Help

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting uterine fibroid induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids after using hair relaxers or chemical hair-straightening products, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Disease Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

What Are Hair Relaxers?

Hair relaxers are used by millions of Black women, often every few weeks for decades during their lifetime. These products contain chemicals that dissolve proteins in the hair, turning naturally curly hair into a silky-smooth texture. Due to cultural norms and stigma surrounding hair styles, Black women are far more likely to use hair relaxers and chemical hair-straighteners compared to other races.

What is the problem?

There has been a lot of concern about black hair relaxers when it comes to fibroids. The problem is that uterine fibroids are worse for black women than other racial groups.

African Americans develop fibroids three times more often than other races, much earlier in life (often in their 20s) when most white women don’t develop fibroids until they are well into their 30s.

Study Links Hair Relaxers and Cancer

In October 2022, a major study involving over 33,000 women found a link between the use of hair relaxers and uterine cancer. The researchers warned that endocrine-disrupting chemicals in hair relaxers could double a woman’s risk of uterine cancer.

According to Shirley McDonald of the Hair and Scalp Clinic:

“We now know that many hair products contain chemicals that are considered carcinogenic and/or hormone disrupters, leading to increased risk of medical issues such as fibroids.”

Long-Term Health Risks of Fibroids

Fibroids can cause infertility and lead to a wide range of health problems — including chronic pain and heavy bleeding, symptoms that may require a total hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus).

Another Study Finds 2-3X Higher Risk of Fibroids

Furthermore, a study from the American Journal of Epidemiology confirmed this link between hair relaxers and fibroids. In a study of 23,000 menstruating Black women in the U.S., they were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with uterine fibroids.

Why Are Hair Relaxers So Risky?

Unlike other hair treatments (like dyes or perms), black hair relaxers contain chemicals that commonly cause scalp lesions, burns, and skin irritation — potentially providing a pathway for toxic chemicals to enter the body and cause fibroids, cancer, endometriosis, or other life-threatening side effects.

What Are Uterine Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids, also called leiomyomas or myomas, are abnormal tissue growths in the uterus (also called the “womb”). Most fibroids are small and do not cause symptoms or require treatment.

Fibroids are usually not cancerous, but they can sometimes contain cancerous cells, or cause an aggressive type of cancer called uterine leiomyosarcoma.

Uterine Fibroids — Could It Be Cancer?

Uterine fibroids are usually non-cancerous, but not always. Fibroids are sometimes actually a type of uterine cancer called leiomyosarcoma.

Another type of uterine cancer, called endometrial carcinoma, occurs when cells start growing uncontrollably in the inner membrane that lines the uterus (called the endometrium). This is the most common type of gynecological cancer in the U.S. and typically occurs in post-menopausal women, causing unusual vaginal bleeding.

How Common Are Fibroids?

Uterine fibroids are usually benign (non-cancerous) tumors that affect approximately 20% of women by the time they are 40 years old. Most women with fibroids never need medical treatment, but some women develop symptoms that cause infertility or require a hysterectomy.

What is the Risk?

In severe cases, fibroids can potentially grow quite large — up to several pounds — and cause debilitating pain, bleeding, and other symptoms. Fibroids are the most common reason why women choose to undergo a hysterectomy, which is a surgery to remove the uterus.

Signs & Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids do not always cause symptoms, but when they grow larger they can potentially cause:

  • Chronic pain
  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting (such as bleeding after menopause, bleeding in between periods, or very long menstrual bleeding)
  • Pressure or pain in the pelvis

Treatment for Cancerous Uterine Fibroids

The primary treatment for a cancerous uterine fibroids is surgical removal of the tumor and any affected tissue. This typically involves a hysterectomy (total surgical removal of the uterus).

In some cases, women may also need to have surgery to remove their fallopian tubes or ovaries. They may also need anti-cancer drugs (chemotherapy) or radiation therapy to reduce the size of the tumor.

Uterine fibroid cancers such as leiomyosarcoma have a high risk of recurrence, so women who are diagnosed with this cancer will need routine follow-ups with their doctor after they undergo a hysterectomy.

Hair Relaxer Lawsuits Claim Chemicals Cause Health Problems

Lawsuits have been filed by women with cancer who used hair relaxers and other chemical hair-straightening treatments. These lawsuits accuse L’Oreal and other beauty companies of selling dangerous hair-care products, and failing to warn about side effects.

In many cases, hair relaxers were advertised as “gentle,” when they actually contained toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and phthalates that are linked to carcinogenic or hormone-disrupting side effects like uterine fibroids, uterine cancer, endometriosis, and breast cancer.

1st Hair Relaxer Lawsuit Filed by Black Woman With Cancer

In October 2022, the first lawsuit was filed by a woman from Missouri who was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She blamed a variety of hair relaxers for causing her cancer, including:

  • Ultra Precise
  • Dark & Lovely
  • Bantu
  • Optimum
  • Motions
  • Just for Me
  • ORS Olive Oil
  • African Pride
  • TCB Naturals
  • Luster’s
  • Africa’s Best
  • Creme of Nature
  • TCB
  • Mizani Rhelaxer
  • Soft & Beautiful
  • Ultra Sheen Supreme

Do I have a Uterine Fibroid Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting uterine fibroid induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with uterine fibroids after using hair relaxers or chemical hair-straightening products, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Disease Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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