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Does Body Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Written by Ankin Law Office

Body powder is used by millions of women around the world, with its uses widespread and varied. Many women use baby powder, also known as talc or talcum powder, daily as part of their intimate personal hygiene routine – which could be putting their health at risk according to a new study.

As the Daily Mail reports, a new study indicates that women who regularly use talcum powder in in the genital region increase their risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent. (Using talcum powder on other parts of the body currently is not known to increase cancer risks.) Researchers say that the increased risk of ovarian cancer could be caused when talcum particles travel into a woman’s body and cause inflammation, thereby creating an environment that allows cancer cells to thrive. Because talc particles can remain in the body for an extended period of time, conditions may be ripe for cancer to grow for several years. In fact, some experts estimate that one particle of talc would take eight years to dissolve.

In the study, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston examined data collected from eight separate studies to reach some kind of conclusions about the possible link between talcum powder and ovarian or uterine cancer. According to an article in the Daily Mail, this kind of research, which is known as meta-analysis, is designed to reach stronger conclusions that smaller studies.

After analyzing data from 8,525 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and comparing the data to body powder use among 9,800 women who remained cancer-free, the researchers concluded that the regular use of body powder after bathing or showing increased the risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent. Researchers emphasized that the results only apply to the use of talcum powder in the genital area and not the rest of the body.

This recent data supports previous studies that suggested a link between talc and ovarian cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, an analysis combining data from 16 studies published before 2003 found about a 30% increase in ovarian risk among talc users and suggested that additional research is necessary given the widespread use of talc in a number of cosmetic and hygiene products.

Some studies have indicated that the risk of cancer when using talcum powder is greatest for those women with a certain genetic profile. About one in ten Caucasian women carry a gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but lack a gene called glutathione S-transferase T1 (GSTT1), and these women are nearly three times as likely to develop ovarian cancer than women without this particular genetic profile.

The Chicago talc lawsuit attorneys at Ankin Law Offices, LLC are committed to protecting the victims of unsafe pharmaceuticals, such as talcum powder and testosterone replacement therapy. We have considerable experience representing clients in a wide variety of personal injury and product liability lawsuits, including class actions lawsuits based on unsafe products. If you have developed cancer after using baby powder, contact the skilled Chicago product liability law firm of Ankin Law Offices, LLC at (312) 600-0000 to discuss a possible talcum powder lawsuit.

Categories: Product Liability