In light of the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits and verdicts over the past two years, more and more women have questions regarding the safety of talcum powder when used for feminine hygiene, as well as the type of ovarian cancer which can potentially result. Different types of ovarian cancers are classified according to the cell type they start from. Nearly 90 percent of ovarian cancers begin in the epithelium, which is the thin layer of tissue covering the ovaries, therefore epithelial ovarian cancer is the most common type. Germ cell carcinoma ovarian cancer begins in the cells which form eggs, and tends to strike women in their early 20’s. Stromal carcinoma tumors develop in the connective tissue cells holding the ovary together, and small cell carcinoma of the ovary is an extremely rare type of tumor which primarily affects young women.
It is theorized that when women use talcum powder in the genital region, tiny talc fibers travel up the vagina and through the fallopian tubes, eventually finding their way to the ovaries, where they burrow into the tissues, causing inflammation, and, potentially, ovarian cancer. Because these tiny talc fibers imbed into the tissues which cover the ovaries, epithelial ovarian cancer is the most likely type of ovarian cancer to result from the use of talcum powder in the genital region. A 2004 study done in California concluded that there was support for the hypothesis that perineal talc use was associated with an increased risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder Use and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Dr. Daniel Cramer noted there are five meta-analyses on the association of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. All five found “significant positive association between the use of talc and ovarian cancer.” Cramer concluded, based on his own studies as well as the studies of others, that the association between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene was “strong,” and that the expected risk for all types of epithelial ovarian cancer (the most common type of ovarian cancer) was about 33 percent, or somewhere between 23-44 percent.
The reason for the wide fluctuation is due primarily to the manner in which women use talcum powder, whether dusting directly in the perineal area, or applying to underwear or sanitary napkins, as well as the number of years a woman used talcum powder for feminine hygiene. One cell culture experiment clearly showed that talc was capable of causing “proliferative changes in ovarian cell cultures indicative of malignancy…” In the year 2000, scientists with the National Toxicology Program voted 13-2 to list talc, when used for feminine hygiene, as a potential human carcinogen, but were persuaded to defer an official decision on the dangers of talc.
The results of these clinical studies combined with expert testimony have had a serious impact during recent talcum powder ovarian cancer trials in Missouri. The reason why an Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis is more favorable to a Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit is that there is clinical study evidence to support the link between talcum powder use for feminine hygiene and an increased risk for epithelial ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits Continue to Increase
There are nearly 5,000 baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits filed by women across the nation, and while there have been some large settlements in favor of plaintiffs over the past two years, just recently a large settlement for the plaintiff was overturned. If you or a loved one developed epithelial ovarian cancer after using J & J talcum powder for feminine hygiene, it could be beneficial for you to speak to a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawyer as soon as possible. Your baby powder ovarian cancer lawyer can help properly evaluate your potential case.