Does baby powder really cause ovarian cancer?

Does baby powder really cause ovarian cancer?

Does baby powder really cause ovarian cancer?

Recently a Missouri jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.

Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen.  In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled. It is used in cosmetics and personal care products to absorb moisture, prevent caking and improve the product’s feel.

It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.

But is it true? Does baby powder really cause ovarian cancer?

We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer,” Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for the company’s consumer products unit, said in a statement.

However, Johnson & Johnson maintains that its baby powder is safe and plans to appeal all three decisions,” she said.

So are women that use talcum powder at a risk for cancer?

At best, the data is inconclusive,” said Dr. Don Dizon, director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Oncology Sexual Health Clinic.

Prospective studies on women before they developed ovarian cancer have found no link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, Dizon said.

Dr. Hal Lawrence is the CEO of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He said the following in a statement: “Several decades of medical research do not support the hypothesis that use of talcum powder causes ovarian cancer.”

Obstetrician-gynecologists do not recommend use of douches, vaginal sprays or talcum powder because of concerns about potential discomfort or pain,” Lawrence added.

If there’s a risk with talcum powder, it’s very small and hard to measure,” said cancer geneticist Dr. Steven Narod, a senior scientist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.

So, should women stay away from baby powder?

Quite frankly, if you’re using it and you’re worried about it, then don’t use it,” Dizon said.

There is no scientific or health promoting reason to use it.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only. This story does not reflect the views of Step In2 My Green World.

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1. “Does Baby Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?MedlinePlus Health News. MedlinePlus Health News, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.

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