The medical community continues to examine the link between ovarian cancer and products containing talcum powder. If you have a history of using talc-based feminine hygiene products, an ovarian cancer lawyer may look at the following factors to prove your cancer came from talcum powder:
- What type of ovarian cancer you received a diagnosis of. A 2013 study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that the use of talcum powder on the genitals is associated with an increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Epithelial tumors account for about 90 percent of all ovarian cancers.
- How long you have used feminine hygiene products containing talcum powder. It is believed ovarian cancer risk may increase based on the frequency and number of years an individual has used talcum powder.
- Your family medical history of ovarian and breast cancer. There is a genetic component to ovarian cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who have two or more family members who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer have a higher risk. Inherited gene mutations, known as the breast cancer genes (BRCA1) and (BRCA2), are also linked with an increased risk for ovarian cancer.
- Your age. Ovarian cancer is most common in women ages 50 to 60.
- The presence of talcum powder in ovarian tumor biopsy results.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
A 2013 study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research found that the use of feminine hygiene products containing talcum powder may increase the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 35 percent.
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral composed mainly of silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. Talc mines often occur near deposits of asbestos, a substance known to cause cancer. This results in natural cross-contamination. The presence of asbestos and other carcinogens in talc has concerned the medical community since the early 1970s.
Research suggested that even asbestos-free talc may be linked to ovarian cancer when used on the genitals. It is possible talcum powder could travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes into the ovaries, potentially causing ovarian cancer.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer include discomfort in the pelvic area, bloating or swelling in the abdomen, frequent urination, changes in bowel movements, and weight loss. If you believe you may have symptoms of ovarian cancer, consult a physician.
Talcum Powder and the Cosmetics Industry
The cosmetics industry has known since the 1970s of the potential contamination of talcum powder with asbestos. A 1976 study published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health was one of the first to call attention to the presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in many products containing talc. The study looked at 20 talcum powder products and found that half contained asbestos.
That same year, according to the American Cancer Society, manufacturers of talcum powder products issued voluntary guidelines stating that consumer products should be asbestos-free. However, recent evidence shows that manufacturers hid the presence of dangerous chemicals in talcum powder from consumers for decades.
An investigative report by Reuters found internal company documents show Johnson & Johnson (J&J), a major producer and retailer of talcum powder products, knew from 1971 to the early 2000s that talcum powder used in its products contained trace amounts of asbestos.
In 2018, a class-action lawsuit filed against J&J by 22 plaintiffs alleging the company’s baby powder caused ovarian cancer resulted in a multi-billion dollar judgment. Even more recently, J&J, Sanofi (the makers of Gold Bond Powder), CVS Health, Walmart, and other major talcum powder manufacturers and retailers were named in a January 2020 lawsuit filed in the Superior Court of California. The suit alleges these companies knowingly concealed from the public the presence of carcinogens in their products. The suit also specifically references the increasing evidence that talcum powder is linked to ovarian cancer.
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A Lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Can Help
If you believe using talcum powder contributed to your ovarian cancer, a lawyer may be able to help you seek compensation for your illness. An ovarian cancer lawyer may be able to prove your cancer came from talcum powder. A lawyer can look at the facts of your case, the circumstances of your illness, your history with talcum powder products, and your risk factors for ovarian cancer.
A lawyer may also help you hire medical experts who can review tumor biopsies and look for the presence of talcum powder in the ovaries. To learn more about how an ovarian cancer lawyer may be able to help you build a case, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444.
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