An estimated 40 percent of women use talcum powder in the genital area for personal hygiene, but the practice may be putting them at an increased risk of developing deadly ovarian cancer, a new study suggests.
The journal Cancer Prevention Research recently published a study that showed regular use of talc-containing powder applied to the genital area was associated with a 24 percent increased risk of ovarian tumors. The study, conducted by researches with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed data from 8,525 women who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and an additional 9,800 women who did not have the disease. Researchers noted their use of talcum powder to reach their conclusion.
Researchers believe that talcum powder can travel up the woman’s vagina, into her uterus and fallopian tubes and into the ovaries where it can spawn abnormal cell growth leading to cancer.
It may sound far-fetched, but a woman recently won a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging regular use of the company’s Shower to Shower body powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. Three researchers found talc in removed portions of her cancerous ovarian tissue and concluded the talc played a role in the development of the disease. The woman’s lawsuit alleged Johnson & Johnson was aware of studies indicating this potential danger but failed to warn consumers of the risk.
Researchers say that as many as 10,000 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in the United States each year may be caused by regular use of talcum powder.
Source: The Sidney Morning Herald