5 Things You Need to Know about the Talcum Powder, Ovarian Cancer Link

Posted by JTB Law Group, LLC on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016


The link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer has become a highly controversial topic in recent times leading to a host of talcum lawsuits and talc litigation. People are rightfully questioning the safety of using talcum powder as a personal hygiene product. The manufacturers have not been able to respond to these questions with clear explanations, instead they insist upon blank denials. If you are one of those people who are eagerly waiting for some answers, then here are a few things that you need to know about talcum powder and ovarian cancer:

1) It Is Not a Recent Development

People who deny the link between talcum powder use and an elevated risk for ovarian cancer often shrug off the connection as a recent development that requires further research for validation. What these people do not realize is that the research has been ongoing on for decades. The link is by no means a recent development. Since the 1960s, scientists have suspected that certain cases of ovarian cancer have been caused by exposure to environmental factors. In 1971, a research showed that talc was present in 75% of the tested ovarian tumours. Further studies have been conducted throughout the years to confirm this initial discovery.

2) Modern Studies Confirm the Risk

Modern day researchers are equipped with state of the art facilities to conduct scientific experiments and surveys that produce precise results. Hence, it would be irrational to overlook the findings of 24 doctors and researchers from a myriad of research centres such as Harvard, University of Pittsburgh and Duke who confirmed that there is a 20-30% increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who use talcum powder on their genitals. This major study was conducted on more than 18,000 individuals with or without ovarian cancer. It went on to suggest that avoiding the use of talcum powder would be an effective strategy to reduce ovarian cancer incidence since there are very few modifiable risk factors for this condition.

3) Direct Application on Private Parts Should be Avoided

Even though there are quite a few different side effects of applying talcum powder on the body, research tells us that applying it on the vaginal area is the only form of talc exposure that has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Therefore, the use of talcum powder as an intimate hygiene product should be strictly avoided.

4) It Can Take Only 30 Minutes for Talc to Reach the Fallopian Tubes

Talcum powder is considered to be filled with immobile particles. That being said, these particles can surprisingly reach the fallopian tubes from the surface of the vagina within 30 minutes. It is also worth noting that there could be a long period of latency between the use of talcum powder and the development of ovarian cancer.

5) Talc Particles in the Ovarian Tissue can be Identified Using a Microscope

There is a very simple way of confirming whether talc was responsible for the development of ovarian cancer in a particular patient. First, the talc particles in the ovarian tissue can be identified with the help of a microscope. In contrast, not so simple, a full hysterectomy can be performed to remove the ovarian tissue from the organ and preserve it for an extended period of time. Following this, the effects of talc on the tissue can be analyzed to help health providers and legal representatives confirm whether talc exposure was the main cause of cancer.


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