A recent study offered yet another clue into the issue of whether talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene. More than 2,000 women with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer were studied, comparing them to a similar-sized control group of women who did not have ovarian cancer. Overall, the researchers found a 33 percent increase in the risk of ovarian cancer among those women who had used talcum powder in the genital area.
The link strengthened when the groups of women were further subdivided by how often they used talcum powder. The results of this particular study did not take into effect other health and lifestyle cancers. While the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified talcum powder used in the genital region as possibly carcinogenic, the FDA will only say the issue of whether talcum powder used for feminine hygiene increases the risk of ovarian cancer is “inconclusive.”
In general, two types of studies are undertaken as a method of determining whether a substance or exposure to a substance is a cancer risk. The first method is laboratory studies which exposes lab animals to a substance, sometimes in extremely large doses, in order to see if changes are seen in cancer cells. In this particular type of study, it is not always clear whether the results of the study will apply to humans in the same way it applies to animals, but it can nonetheless be a good way to determine whether a substance could be carcinogenic.
The second method is studies done with human beings. This type of study looks at the cancer rates among different groups of people, or compares cancer rates in one group exposed to a specific substance with another group who had no exposure to the substance. Unfortunately, the results of these studies may or may not be valid, due to the fact there are many other factors which could potentially affect the results. The person’s health, level of activity, and, among women, whether they are pre or post-menopausal, can all have a bearing on the results.
In laboratory studies with animals, exposure to talcum powder has resulted in mixed results—some have shown tumor formation while others have not. In the studies with people, the findings have also been mixed. Some of the case-control studies have suggested an increase in risk, although these studies can be biased since they rely on a person’s memory of how often they used talc over a period of several decades.
If you or someone you love has developed ovarian cancer after using a talc-based product, such as baby powder or Shower-to-Shower, it is important to know that you have legal options. We can help you take part in national lawsuits that are happening all across the country. At Aaron Levine & Associates, our Washington DC-based firm and our talcum powder lawsuit attorneys are ready to help you seek justice. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and review of your case.