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How Are Ovarian Cancer and Talcum Powder Linked?

Women use various feminine aids to help feel refreshed and clean throughout the day. Many women would assume that the products that are sold for this purpose would be safe to use. This isn't always the case.

Some women discovered that one product they were using wasn't safe at all. Feminine hygiene products sometimes contain talcum powder, which was linked to causing ovarian cancer if it is applied to the vaginal area. It has also been linked to lung cancer through inhalation.

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder is an ingredient in many products used to wick away moisture and give a person a fresh feeling. Magnesium, hydrogen, oxygen and silicon are the ingredients in talcum powder.

Because of the natural ability of talcum powder to absorb moisture, it was used in baby powder and feminine powders. It is also used in other products, such as face powders. It has been more than 100 years since Johnson & Johnson first began to use the ingredient in powders.

What's the risk?

There is a lot of debate about whether there is actually a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The International Association for the Research of Cancer notes that the substance is a possible carcinogen. However, the American Cancer Society notes that it is unclear if talcum powder can increase the risk of cancer in humans. There is a link between inhaling talcum powder and lung cancer, as well as other lung conditions.

The issue with all of this is that Johnson & Johnson didn't include a warning label on the products containing talcum powder. They don't have to include a warning label since the product is cosmetic. Critics of the company note that there is a warning that states to only use the product externally, but they remark that this isn't sufficient in this case.

What are signs of a problem?

Ovarian cancer isn't always easy to detect since the early signs mimic a number of conditions. Bloating, feeling full, pelvic pain and abdominal pain are signs of ovarian cancer. Some people also experience frequent urination or felling like they always have to urinate. As the cancer advances, more signs become evident. Changes in menstruation, fatigue, constipation, bloating while losing weight, upset stomach and backache are all signs that it is advancing.

What should I do?

If you used baby powder or feminine hygiene products that contained talcum powder and find out that you have ovarian cancer, you may want to have your case evaluated to determine if you can take legal action. Johnson & Johnson has already been ordered to pay some victims for the damages they suffered due to ovarian cancer after using the company's products that contained talcum powder.

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