Medical FAQs

Q: Is there a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer?
A: For decades, researchers have noted the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. It is believed that talc powder, when used near the genitals, can travel to the ovaries and become embedded in the tissue.  As a result, inflammation may occur and cancerous tumors may then form. 

Q:  When was the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer discovered?
A:  As early as 1971, a study in the medical journal The Lancet found that a majority of ovarian tumors had talc particles “deeply embedded” in them. In 1982, researchers found that women using talcum powder during ovulation were 92% more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Over the next 30 years, an additional 21 studies were performed on talc powder: almost all of these studies found that women who used these products near their genitals were at an increased risk for developing ovarian cancer.

Q:  Are medical warnings placed on talcum powder products?
A: No. Despite mounting research that talc-based powders may increase the chance of developing ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers have not placed warnings about this risk on their products.

Q: Did Johnson & Johnson know about the cancer risk posed by talcum powder?
A:  The last three talcum powder lawsuit verdicts showed the world that they knew about its risks, and yet they did nothing to protect their consumers.

Q:  Is there a safe alternative to talcum powder?
A: There’s no known risk associated with the use of cornstarch-based cosmetics. However, some products such as Shower-to-Shower are made with 50% talcum and 50% cornstarch powder so they’re still dangerous.

Q: Could my ovarian cancer be related to talc even if it was many years since I last used the product?
A: Yes, talcum fibers are resistant and extremely slow to break down, and can remain embedded in the ovaries for years, ultimately causing an inflammatory reaction promoting the conditions that encourage the development of cancer. It is not uncommon for many years to pass by from last talcum powder usage until a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is eventually made. This “latency” period can be as little as few years to 30 years, or even more. 

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