Talcum powder and baby powder (which is made of talc)—everyday items that so many women use after a shower or bath—have concrete links with certain types of ovarian cancer. A study published in the May, 2016, issue of the medical journal Epidemiology reported that, after prolonged use in the genital-perineal area, talcum powder could raise a woman’s chances of developing cancer of the ovaries by up to 44 percent.
The study further showed that talc usage was most likely to be connected with certain types of ovarian cancers, mostly those in the grouping known as epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs). These cancers, which begin in the lining of the ovaries, are the most common variety, causing 85 to 90 percent of ovarian cancer cases. Unfortunately, nearly 70 percent of women who develop an EOC are not diagnosed until the cancer reaches an advanced stage, resulting in a poor prognosis.
Key Takeaways from the Study
Some of the evidence that resulted from the study includes the following:
- A significant association exists between the use of talcum powder and epithelial ovarian cancers. The trend increases as the number of “talc-years” of usage increases.
- No confounders appeared responsible for the significant association. An epidemiological confounder is a separate substance or circumstance that could also cause the disease in question.
- For some women, depending on their medical background, stronger associations and dose-responses were reported. In this context, a positive dose-response relationship means one in which increasing levels of exposure and an increasing likelihood of developing ovarian cancer are strongly linked.
- Associations may be stronger among African-American women.
Three Big Verdicts
The year 2016 brought three big-money court cases—$55 million, $70 million, and $72 million—regarding talcum powder and ovarian cancer. All of the verdicts went against the baby powder maker Johnson & Johnson, and all three cases alleged that using the company’s baby powder caused the three different women’s ovarian cancers.
The $70 million award is the most recent of the three, having been decided in October, 2016. The California woman who brought the case claimed that Johnson & Johnson demonstrated “negligent conduct” in their production and marketing of the powder. The 2016 study published in Epidemiology (described above) is considered an important factor in the case’s outcome.
Do You Have These Symptoms?
Ovarian cancer, unhappily, often shows no early signs. However, common early symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
- A bloated, swollen abdomen
- Abdominal pain or pressure
- Feeling unusually full after eating
- An increased need to urinate.
If you have these or similar symptoms and they persist for many weeks or months on a daily basis, consider consulting your doctor as soon as possible, especially if you have been a daily user of talcum powder for years.
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer to be aware of are post-menopausal vaginal bleeding or menstrual changes, weight loss, fatigue, back pain, indigestion, and painful intercourse. Experiencing several of these symptoms means that you should see your doctor.
Talk to Us. We’re Listening.
The only way that we can hold the corporations who manufacture the baby powder and talcum powder products responsible for cases of ovarian cancer is to take them to court. When it comes to faulty products, individuals in Maryland—and in all fifty states—that are harmed by such items have the right to make a claim against the manufacturer.
If you or a family member have suffered from ovarian cancer and have been or currently are a long-time user of talc, call Baltimore product injury attorney Steve Heisler. At the Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler, we know the amount of emotional trauma and expense from medical care that can arise from ovarian cancer. Keep in mind, however, that there is a statute of limitations – or a time limit – for filing product liability claims, so you should not delay. Contact the Law Offices of “The Injury Lawyer,” Steven H. Heisler of Baltimore, Maryland, for a free initial consultation by calling (410) 625-4878 today.