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Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

According to a research report in the Journal of Epidemiology, regular use of talcum-based talcum powder in the genital area can increase a woman's chance of increasing ovarian cancer by up to 30%.

There is a well known link between talcum powder and deadly ovarian cancer. Talc is one of the main components of products such as Johnson's® baby powder and Shower to Shower®. Powder is a natural mineral and has chemical similarities with asbestos, another well-known mineral that causes fatal cancer.

If the powder is applied directly to the genital area, powder particles can enter fallopian tubes and then to the ovaries, where the powder molecules can settle for decades.

Talc can cause inflammation in healthy tissue, and if chronic, this inflammation can contribute to the development of cancer.

While a long history of medical research strongly links the repeated use of talc products with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, some types of ovarian cancer are more likely to develop than others.

The most common type of ovarian cancer that develops from the use of powder is epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Epithelial tumors grow on the outer surface of the ovary and come in several varieties, all of which are influenced by the prolonged use of talcum powder, according to an analysis published in Cancer Prevention Research.

Like most ovarian cancers, EOC is difficult to detect during routine gynecological treatment. It may not appear on a Pap smear and ovarian tumors are difficult to feel during routine pelvic examinations.

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are usually hidden in the field of vision and are similar to other symptoms, a less dangerous condition. When doctors think about finding ovarian cancer, it often spreads to nearby organs and throughout the body.