An analysis of data from eight different studies has drawn a definite link between the use of talcum powder in the genital area to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, according to Science World Report.
The study, conducted by researchers with Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, compared a group of 8,525 women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer to 9,800 women who had no history of ovarian cancer. They found that women who regularly applied talcum powder to their genitals for personal hygiene had a 24 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Talcum powder is ground bits of talc, made up of soft mineral particles called hydrous magnesium silicate. When applied to the genitals of women, the bits can travel up into the vagina, through the fallopian tubes, and into the ovaries. This can cause inflammation in the lower genital tract and when it moves into the pelvic lymph nodes, it can cause immune dysregulation, which can trigger ovarian tumor growth.
Last year, a woman sued Johnson & Johnson alleging that regular use of the company’s Shower to Shower body powder on her genitals caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The jury found in the woman’s favor and said that the consumer health care giant should have warned women of the serious risks associated with its product. Johnson & Johnson, however, refused to add a warning to the labels of its talc-containing products and continues to market its body powder and Baby Powder as safe.
Source: Science World Report