The Historical Connection between Talcum Powder and Ovarian CancerMay 30, 2017
For more than 45 years, researchers have been studying talcum powder, the ovaries and ovarian cancer. Here’s a look at the major findings of these studies.
First Study on Talcum Powder & the Ovaries: 1971
In March 1971, a study published in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the British Commonwealth reported finding talc particles embedded in ovarian and cervical tumor tissues.
Entitled Talc and Carcinoma of the Ovary and Cervix, this study found that 75 percent of the tissue samples examined (i.e., 10 in 13 samples) had “talc particles deeply embedded” within them. This finding seemed to indicate that perineal (genital) use of talc powder could contribute to a migration of talc particles to the ovarian and cervical tissues.
Though none of the samples reportedly contained asbestos particles, researchers did point out that “the close association of talc to the asbestos group of minerals is of interest.”
Here, it’s important to note that:
- Talc can be naturally found with asbestos.
- Some have theorized that asbestos in talcum powder may have contributed to a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
- Talc powder became asbestos-free in the U.S. in the 1970s.
First Study Links Use of Talcum Powder to Risk of Ovarian Cancer: 1982
Nearly a decade later came another groundbreaking study, this time reporting a link between use of talc powder and an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
Entitled Ovarian Cancer and Talc: A Case-Control Study, this 1982 study found that there is “some support for an association between talc and ovarian cancer.” The study, headed up by Daniel Cramer, MD, ScD, also reportedly found that more frequent use of talc powder did contribute to higher risks of ovarian cancer (i.e., a dose-response relationship between talc use and the risk of ovarian cancer).
Subsequent Studies: Findings Vary
Over the past three decades, dozens of follow-up studies on talcum powder and ovarian cancer have been conducted. In at least 20 of these reputable, case-control studies, the findings have supported a link between use of talcum powder and an elevated risk of ovarian cancer.
Some even put this risk at about 30 percent, meaning that women who use talcum powder are about 30 percent more likely (than women who don’t use talc powder) to develop ovarian cancer.
Not all studies have supported this link, however. While some have had inconclusive results, others say there is no risk. Critics of these studies have pointed out their limitations, such as reliance on inconsistent data and other data flaws.
While the studies have had conflicting results, in the 1990s, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) officially classified:
- Asbestos-containing talc as “carcinogenic to humans”
- Genital use of talc-based body powered as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
As the research continues, it’s important for women to understand that:
- To date, more research seems to support a link between use of talc powder and higher risks of ovarian cancer (rather than disproving it).
- There may be options for financial recovery if they have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have a history of using talc powder. An attorney at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to answer questions and explain these options.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
Our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients, who have been harmed by negligence and dangerous products, pursue justice and financial recovery. In talc powder cases, we represent clients from across the U.S.
Tenacious and skilled, we can help you protect your rights and position your potential claim for success. Our history of exceptional representation has earned us 5-star ratings on Google and Facebook.