Ovarian Cancer – Study Finds Talcum Powder Link

Apr 17, 2009 by

Ovarian Cancer – Study Finds Talcum Powder Link

Despite the limitations of the Harvard study, when we look at the overall scheme of things, and put its findings alongside the evidence which had been provided by previous studies, it does appear that talc use is linked to ovarian cancer.

For example, laboratory tests had previously already shown that ovarian cells exposed to talc tend to multiply more rapidly, which is something very characteristic of malignancy. But there had been no clear evidence to affirm scientists’ fear that particles could actually move along a woman’s reproductive tract such a distance, from the genitals all the way to the ovaries. However, in 2007, doctors at Harvard Medical School found small powdered particles in the pelvis area of a woman with late-stage ovarian cancer. The woman was 68 years old and had used talcum powder everyday for the past 30 years or so.

What Next

At the end of a long hard day at work, take a warm, relaxing bath, dry yourself, and then sprinkle on some talcum powder to feel even better. That is probably what some of us do.

However, based on evidence available so far, Gates has advised women to avoid using talcum powder in the genital area until more research has been carried out.

But would that be overreacting? Dr Jodie Moffat of Cancer Research UK reminded us “it is important to remember that very few women who use talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer”. The website of the American Cancer Society echoes this, stating that “only a very small minority of women who have used talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer”.

About half the people reading this article will never get ovarian cancer, not because they are immune to cancer, but because they do not have ovaries. But it is still a stark reminder of how many common and seemingly harmless everyday items in our lives today are adding to our risk of many diseases. The cleaner and more natural we can get, the safer we will be.

As far as the use of talcum powder goes, while more conclusive research may still be needed, in the meantime, women will have a decision to make.

Main Sources

Women warned of talcum powder cancer risk (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/health/3091174/Women-warned-of-talcum-powder-cancer-risk.html)

Talcum powder and ovarian cancer (http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/09September/Pages/Talcumpowderrisk.aspx)

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