May 02, 2016 - Talcum Powder Long Term Exposure Ovarian Cancer Risk
Many women in the United States have heard about the recent studies linking the use of talcum powder in the genital region to ovarian cancer. Currently there are more than 1,200 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson by women who believe their ovarian cancer diagnosis is related to the use of J & J’s baby powder with talc and Shower to Shower for an extended length of time. Recently the family of a woman who died at age 62 after using J & J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower for more than 30 years for feminine hygiene, won a settlement against J & J in the amount of $72 million.
While $10 million of that settlement was designated as compensatory damages, the remainder was for punitive damages, meaning the jury believed Johnson & Johnson possibly knew about talcum powder ovarian cancer risks but failed to warn women about those dangers. Johnson & Johnson maintains the safety of talcum powder, stating no warning was necessary because talcum powder does not cause ovarian cancer. The FDA has also declined to mandate warnings on talcum powder, stating the evidence is inconclusive. A number of studies, however have found a definite link between the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer.
Treatment Options for Ovarian Cancer
Because ovarian cancer is rarely diagnosed early, it is considered one of the more deadly types of cancer. Some scientist believe in the talcum powder fiber migration theory—that the microscopic fibers can travel through the vagina and fallopian tubes into the ovaries where they cause inflammation, and, eventually, ovarian cancer. In 1971, researchers examined the ovaries removed from thirteen women who had ovarian cancer. In ten of those ovaries, talc fibers were found, deeply embedded in the tissues.
There are a number of treatments available for ovarian cancer, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Surgery is often necessary to determine the extent of the disease, and provide an accurate stage of the cancer. A salpingo-oophorectomy involves removal of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, while a hysterectomy removes the uterus and surrounding tissues. If it appears the cancer has spread, lymph nodes, the tissue covering the stomach, the large intestine and cancerous tissue from nearby organs may be removed.
Following surgery, chemotherapy may be used to destroy any remaining cancer cells, preventing the cancer cells’ ability to continue to grow and divide. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy may also be implemented in order to reduce the size of the tumor prior to surgery. Chemotherapy drugs are typically administered once every three weeks. Side effects of chemotherapy can include extreme fatigue, nausea, hair loss, vomiting, loss of appetite, risk of infection, and tingling or numbness in the hands and feet.
Radiation therapy is not generally considered as a first-line treatment for ovarian cancer, but may be used to treat recurring ovarian cancer when it is confined to a small area. The five-year survival rate for all types of ovarian cancer is 45 percent, although women diagnosed when the cancer has not spread, and when they are younger, do better than older women or in women whose ovarian cancer has spread.
Holistic Treatments for Ovarian Cancer
One Australian study found that women whose diets were high in vegetables prior to the diagnosis of ovarian cancer lived longer after treatments than those women who ate few vegetables. The same study found that eating dairy products had the opposite effect, with women who had the highest intake of dairy products having a 30 percent greater risk of dying earlier from ovarian cancer. Many women, while undergoing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation may also use holistic treatments to increase their chance of survival. These holistic treatments can include herbal preparations, dietary supplements, homeopathic remedies, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care to alleviate pain, nausea, peripheral neuropathy and stiffness in the muscles and joints.
It is expected that more women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and who used talcum powder for feminine hygiene will come forward to file lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. If you are one of those women, it could be extremely beneficial to speak to a knowledgeable talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney who can ensure your rights are protected, that you receive appropriate medical treatment and that you are compensated for your medical expenses related to your ovarian cancer diagnosis.