London: Women, who regularly powder their genitals with talc, may be at an increased risk of ovarian cancer, according a new study. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital study of 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 free of the disease about their talcum powder use found that those, who routinely applied talc to their genitals, sanitary napkins, tampons and underwear, had a 33 per cent higher risk of ovarian cancer, the Daily Mail reported.
This research comes a week after a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay 72 million dollars in damages to the family of a woman who allegedly died of the disease after using their baby powder.
Lead author Daniel Cramer, who first linked genital talc to ovarian cancer in 1982, told Reuters that there must be warning labels on talcum powder as this is an easily modified risk factor. Talc is a good drying agent, but women should know that if it’s used repeatedly, it can get into the vagina and into their upper genital tract.
However, the current study is the first to limit the association to premenopausal women and postmenopausal women who used hormone therapy. The new confines of the association may help explain earlier contradictory results on the link between talc and ovarian cancer, researchers said. The study is published in the journal Epidemiology.