Physicians on The Doctors talk show are warning women that using talcum powder products in the genital area for personal hygiene can increase a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer.
This week, The Doctors introduced Deane, who won the first major lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson claiming the company knew of the risks associated with its baby powder and Shower to Shower body powder but failed to warn consumers of the risks.
Deane said when she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she searched for some understanding about how she could have developed the disease. “I had no family history. I didn’t smoke. I was tested for the BRCA gene, and it was negative,” she told audience members. Then she came across a study that linked regular use of talcum powder on the genitals to as much as a 30 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer.
“I used talcum powder since I was 18. My mother said it was safe,” she said. Deane used the powder to prevent chafing on a hot day.
But Dr. Jennifer Ashton said that it has been known in the OB/GYN community for years that some types of talcum powder used on the genitals could increase the risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer because it causes a chemical reaction. Dr. Drew Ordon agreed, adding that it can also cause a “foreign body reaction” when it is put into tissue or under the skin.
Talcum powder, when applied topically to the genital area, can actual travel up the vagina, into the cervix, up the fallopian tubes and into the ovaries where it can inflame tissue and lead to cancerous growth.
Dr. Rachael Ross said that 40 percent of women use some form of talcum powder on their genitals for personal hygiene, and it is time that women are made aware of the potential risks because safer alternatives are available.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that talc powder when applied to the genitals has a potential to be carcinogenic.
Source: The Doctors