“I have heard things as random as baby powder can cause ovarian cancer,” Basketball Wives LA star Brandi Maxiell told CocoaFab entertainment, struggling to understand her own diagnosis at age 24. Seven years later, she says she is focused on staying healthy and living life to its fullest.
“It was really hard for me to deal with the news. I was crying and I thought cancer meant death. I couldn’t understand what I did to deserve the diagnosis,” she said. “It got to the point where I knew I had to figure out what to do to fight for my life. I did anything and everything the doctor told me to do.”
Brandi followed an aggressive treatment plan that involves surgery and about six months of chemotherapy. “Right now, I try to eat well and exercise and do everything that I’m supposed to do.”
Ovarian cancer is a devastating diagnosis. The disease is often hard to diagnose because symptoms can mimic other conditions such as fibroids or gastrointestinal issues. Brandi was initially treated for back pain but when medication didn’t help the problem, she returned to the doctor who eventually diagnosed her with ovarian cancer.
Risk factors are also varied and can include age, obesity, and using some medications such as hormone therapy. Family history can also indicate risk. Even some household items can increase ovarian cancer risk, such as baby powder.
As Brandi said, baby powder causing ovarian cancer sounds “random,” but it’s really not. Researchers have discovered that women who regularly use baby powder in their genital area for personal hygiene have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The powder can actually move through the uterus, up the fallopian tubes, and into the ovaries where it can cause abnormal cell growth, leading to cancer.
In fact, last year a woman won a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging the company’s Shower to Shower body powder, which she used regularly in her genital area, caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff, saying Johnson & Johnson should have warned consumers of this risk. Since then, hundreds of other baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits have been filed against the company.