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In the United States, Black women are 39% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women. Black women are also more likely to develop breast cancer under the age of 40 than other ethnic groups.

Exposure to compounds known as parabens, which are used as preservatives in hair and personal care products, has been linkedTrusted Source to a higher risk of breast cancer. Most of these studies, however, have involved breast cancer cell lines of European ancestry.

Until now, few, if any, studies have investigated the effects of parabens on breast cancer cell lines with West African ancestry.

Knowing how parabens affect the growth of breast cancer in Black women could help develop public health recommendations that reduce breast cancer risk among Black women.

In a recent study, researchers investigated how parabens affect the growth of Black breast cancer cell lines. They found that while parabens increased the growth of a Black breast cancer cell line, they did not increase growth in a white breast cancer cell line.