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Talc Study Shows Ovarian Cancer Risk

March 7, 2016 · FLEMING | NOLEN | JEZ, L.L.P.

Talcum PowderA recent scientific study has shown that the risk of ovarian cancer is one-third higher among women who regularly powder their genitals with talc.

The study conducted by Dr. Daniel W. Cramer, who heads the Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, surveyed 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and a matched group of 2,100 similar women without ovarian cancer about their talcum powder use. There was a thirty-three percent higher risk of ovarian cancer in the women who said they routinely applied talc to their genital area, sanitary napkins, tampons and underwear.

Dr. Cramer has been sounding the talc alarm for decades, but so far has been unsuccessful in getting warning labels on talcum powder. According to a Reuters Health story about the current study, Dr. Cramer is quoted as saying: “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.” Dr. Cramer is not alone, according to the same Reuters Health story, Dr. Nicolas Wentzensen, head of the clinical epidemiology unit for the National Cancer Institute, who was not involved with the study, commented that the results strengthen the evidence linking genital talc to ovarian cancer.

Amazingly, Dr. Cramer found and reported a link between genital talc and ovarian cancer all the way back in 1982. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that genital talc was possibly carcinogenic in 2006. Yet, despite multiple studies stretching back years demonstrating the association between talc and ovarian cancer, the manufacturers have not warned consumers on talc and baby powder labels.

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