May 16, 2016 - How Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
The recent spotlight on talcum powder cancer—namely the link between Johnson & Johnson’s talc powders and the potential risk of ovarian cancer—has left many women with questions about ovarian cancer. In two recent talc lawsuits, plaintiffs have been awarded $72 million and $55 million, respectively, for talcum powder ovarian cancer potentially caused by talc fibers. Some research has pointed to a connection between talc powder used in the genital region for feminine hygiene and the development of ovarian cancer.
The theory is that talc fibers can migrate through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes, finding their way to the ovaries. Once in the ovaries, inflammation sets in, eventually leading to talcum powder ovarian cancer. Women who have developed talcum powder ovarian cancer should speak to a talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney at the earliest possible time. There are as many as thirty different types of ovarian cancers, making it essential that you have all the information you need.
Racial/Age/Country Predisposition to Ovarian Tumors
Most epithelial ovarian cancer tumors are diagnosed in postmenopausal women, while Brenner tumors are typically diagnosed in peri-menopausal as well as postmenopausal women. The highest rates of ovarian tumors across the globe occur in Scandinavia, North America and Israel, with the lowest rates found in developing countries and Japan. There is a definite racial predisposition to epithelial ovarian cancer tumors, with black women having significantly lower rates. Clear cell adenocarcinoma ovarian tumors are found much more often among Japanese women than in western countries. Women who began having periods at a younger age was associated with a higher risk of ovarian cancers only in white women, while factors such as tubal ligation, oral contraceptive use and obesity resulted in a higher rate of ovarian cancer for African Americans.
Types of Ovarian Cancers:
Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Approximately 90 percent of all ovarian cancer tumors are classified as epithelial tumors, meaning the cancer begins in the ovary’s surface layer. Epithelial ovarian cancer is the sixth most-common cancer in women, as well as the second most-common genital tract malignancy following endometrial cancer. Typically, epithelial ovarian cancer is diagnosed among postmenopausal women, and gynecologic epithelial ovarian cancer malignancies are the most common cause of death among women in the U.S., being responsible for about 15,000 deaths annually.
A woman’s lifetime risk of any type of ovarian cancer is 1.4 per 100 women. Epithelial ovarian cancer can occur in females as young as 15, but the “average” age for presentation of epithelial ovarian cancer is 56. About 55 out of 100,000 Caucasian women age 70 or above develop epithelial ovarian cancer, while about 3 Caucasian women per 100,000 will develop epithelial ovarian cancer prior to the age of 30. Within epithelial ovarian cancers, there are specific types:
Epithelial serous—Serous epithelial ovarian cancer makes up about 65 percent of all epithelial ovarian cancer cases diagnosed. Many doctors believe that this type of high grade serous epithelial ovarian cancer begins at the far end of the fallopian tube, rather than the ovary’s surface. Once the cancer has a “foothold” in the fallopian tube, it quickly spreads to the ovaries and begins to grow. Epithelial serous ovarian cancer can be high grade or low grade, which are two distinct tumor types with different underlying behaviors and prognosis.
High grade serous carcinomas are much more common than low grade serous carcinomas. A low grade serous carcinoma is believed to come from a benign serous cystadenoma, through a serous borderline tumor to an invasive low grade serous carcinoma. By contrast, a high grade serous carcinoma is not related to a serous borderline tumor. An epithelial high grade serous invasive tumor can be quite aggressive. Serous epithelial tumors can be further subdivided into the following:
1. Serous cystadenoma—Most likely, along with mucinous cystadenomas, to be asymptomatic.
2. Borderline serous tumor
3. Serous cystadenocarcinoma
Epithelial endometrioid—About one in every twenty cases of epithelial ovarian cancer will be the subtype endometrioid. This type of ovarian cancer is most likely to be found when a woman receives a diagnosis of endometrial cancers as it is associated with disease in the endometrium.
Epithelial clear cell—clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer is the least common subtype among epithelial ovarian cancers, with about three out of every 100 diagnoses of epithelial ovarian cancer being clear cell. Clear cell epithelial ovarian cancer is a very aggressive type of cancer, therefore pathologists do not grade it.
Epithelial mucinous—About one in every ten epithelial ovarian cancers will be mucinous tumors. This type of ovarian cancer can be extremely challenging to treat. Epithelial mucinous tumors can further be classified as:
1. Mucinous cystadenoma
2. Borderline mucinous tumor
3. Mucinous cystadenocarcinoma
5. Epithelial mucinous carcinomas are diagnosed at stage I in about half of all patients, as opposed to serous tumors which are typically diagnosed at much more advanced stages.
Epithelial transitional cell
Epithelial small cell
Epithelial mixed mesodermal
Epithelial unclassifiable—Nearly ten out of every 100 epithelial ovarian cancers are considered unclassifiable, due to the fact that the tumors are undeveloped. This lack of development makes it impossible to determine which cell type the ovarian cancer started from.
The following types of ovarian cancers are much rarer than epithelial serous ovarian cancers:
Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma Ovarian Cancers
Germ Cell Ovarian Cancers—Only about one or two out of every 100 diagnosed cases of ovarian cancer are germ cell ovarian cancers. This type of cancer begins from the cells which produce a woman’s eggs. Germ cell ovarian cancer malignancies are most likely among teens and women in their twenties. There is a high cure rate for germ cell ovarian cancers, however, with 90 percent of patients with this type of cancer cured, and their fertility preserved. Among germ cell ovarian cancers, there are the benign, or non-cancerous type, as well as:
1. Dermoid Cysts
3. Endodermal Sinus Tumors
4. Mature Teratoma
Granulosa Cell Tumors
Stromal Ovarian Tumors—Stromal ovarian tumors are an extremely rare class of tumors which develop from the tissues cells which hold the ovaries together as well as from the tissues which produce estrogen and progesterone—female hormones. Stromal ovarian tumors are usually considered low-grade, with more than two-thirds of these tumors presenting as Stage I—limited to one or both ovaries.
Sertoli-Leydig Stromal Ovarian Tumors—extremely rare type of stromal ovarian tumor.
The final two types of ovarian cancer are:
Borderline Ovarian Tumors—Borderline tumors have a low potential for malignancy, and are different from “normal” ovarian cancers because they do not grow into the supportive tissues of the ovaries. Approximately 10 percent of all epithelial ovarian tumors are borderline tumors. Borderline tumors grow very slowly, therefore are typically diagnosed at an early stage. Occasionally, the abnormal cells of borderline ovarian tumors can split from the tumor, settling somewhere else in the body, most often the abdomen.
Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma—When a woman’s ovaries have been removed, her risk of ovarian cancer is eliminated, but she will still have a risk for a much less common type of cancer known as primary peritoneal carcinoma which is closely related to epithelial ovarian cancer. Primary peritoneal carcinoma cancers develop from cells which form a membrane around a woman’s abdominal organs.
If you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer which you believe is the result of using talcum powder in the perineal region, you may be entitled to compensation from Johnson & Johnson. Calling a talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney could be extremely beneficial in determining whether to file a talcum powder lawsuit.