Just a week after a $72 million verdict against Johnson and Johnson, where the company was found liable for Jacqueline Fox’s death from ovarian cancer after using the company’s talc-based products for more than 35 years, new research was published confirming that genital talc use increases risk of ovarian cancer.
During the trial internal documents exposed that the company’s medical consultants had been warning it at least since 1997 that studies “did show a statistically significant association between hygenic talc use and ovarian cancer.” Today research is still confirming that talc increases cancer risk.
According to Fox News the study published in the medical journal Epidemiology interviewed 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,011 without the disease. Those who routinely applied talc to their genitals, sanitary napkins, tampons and underwear were found to have a 33 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer.
Lead study author Dr. Daniel Cramer, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, first reported the link in 1982. He has sought to raise awareness of this issue, to get warning labels on talcum powder, and he has testified as an expert witness in talc lawsuits. Cramer designed this study to address certain contradictory results in earlier studies linking talc to ovarian cancer and he and his team hoped to help explain questions that had been raised by his peers who have been debating this issue for years.
According to the Fox News article, “Dr. Nicolas Wentzensen, head of the clinical epidemiology unit for the National Cancer Institute, told Reuters Health by email that the new study strengthens the evidence linking genital talc use to the deadly reproductive cancer. He was not involved with the current study. ‘The recent paper in Epidemiology has provided additional support for an association between talc use and ovarian cancer from a case-control study,’ he wrote.” However, he went on to say that “Scientific consensus emerges over time, especially in cases like this, where the results have been somewhat inconsistent.”
Dr. Cramer and his colleagues have contributed more evidence, which will hopefully lead to further studies and a scientific consensus that will benefit the public with the power of knowledge. Ovarian cancer, the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women, has survival rates much lower than other cancers that affect women. Identifying an environmental risk factor for such a deadly disease has enormous potential to save lives.
“This is an easily modified risk factor,” Cramer told Reuters Health by phone. “Talc is a good drying agent, but women should know that if it’s used repeatedly, it can get into the vagina and into their upper genital tract. And I think if they knew that, they wouldn’t use it.”
Join The Fight!
Let your voice be heard and sign the petition to ask Johnson & Johnson to release the internal documents revealing the link between talcum powder and cancer. A St. Louis jury has seen the evidence, which ultimately led them to award a $72 million verdict. Hundreds have signed, but we need thousands – tens of thousands – of signatures to get the industry’s attention. So, please take a brief moment and do something that can change lives forever. Please sign and share the petition with your friends and colleagues, and say to J&J, #TellTheTalcTruth!