More than five years ago, scientists from Harvard Medical School warned that women using talcum powder products in the genital area could be at serious risk of developing deadly ovarian cancer.
The warning was based on a theory that the talcum powder in these products could travel to the ovaries and trigger a process of inflammation that allows cancer cells to flourish. It had been considered a remote risk at best. Even so, a team of Harvard researchers decided to put the theory to a test. They studied more than 3,000 women and found that women who used talc in their genital areas were a startling 40 percent more likely to develop ovarian cancer. The risk was about 36 percent for women who used the powder about once a week, but grew to 41 percent for women use used it daily.
The researchers also found that the risk was even greater for women with a gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but lacking a gene called glutaione S-transferase T1 (GSTT1). Women with this genetic profile who used talcum powder products on their genitals were nearly three times as likely to develop cancerous tumors in their ovaries. About 10 percent of all women have this genetic profile.
Even with credible studies showing cancer risk with use of talcum powder, companies who sell these products refused to warn consumers. Late last year, a woman won a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after a jury found that regular use of the company’s Shower to Shower powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. Even after losing the lawsuit, the consumer health care giant said it still doesn’t see the point in warning women about the cancer risks with its talc products.
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral that may contain asbestos, a known cancer-causing chemical.
Source: Medical News Net