What Types Of Cancer Are Caused By Talc
At least two types of cancer are caused by talc-based powders, according to medical research and the lawsuits filed against the manufacturers of cosmetic talcum powders. The research and lawsuits generally involve one of two types of cancer:
- Ovarian cancer in those who used talcum powder products in their underwear and for personal hygiene use
- Mesothelioma in those who used cosmetic powders and inhaled them into their lungs
If you developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another type of reproductive tract or lung cancer after using talcum powder products, a link between your cancer diagnosis and the alleged asbestos contamination in many talc-based products may entitle you to recover monetary damages. You will likely qualify to file a lawsuit and join the ongoing multidistrict litigation related to these defective and dangerous products or take other action.
What Talcum Powder Studies Say About Ovarian Cancer
The scientific community first recognized a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer in the early 1970s. Researchers discovered particles of talc in ovarian and cervical tumors. The plate-like particles have also been found in the lymph nodes of women with ovarian cancer.
A 2007 case report in the journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology noted the presence of talc in the pelvic lymph nodes of a 68-year-old woman with stage III ovarian cancer. The patient had sprinkled talcum powder on her genital area every day for 30 years.
A number of epidemiological studies have shown a link between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
A 2016 study led by Cramer suggests that women who regularly dust their genital region with talc have a 33 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who dont use baby powder.
A 2015 study by Dr. Roberta Ness had similar findings. It concluded that talc use boosts a womans ovarian cancer risk by 30 percent to 60 percent and eliminating the use of talcum powder could protect more than a quarter of women who develop the devastating disease.
How Do You Get Cancer From Talcum Powder
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mined milled mineral from the earth, where the milling process crushes its components of hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, magnesium, and sometimes asbestos.
Over the last few decades, many companies manufacturing talc-based products, including J & J, have publicly stated that their products do not contain asbestos.
However, in March 2020, the FDA released a report involving a year-long test to determine if talc-containing cosmetics also contained asbestos. All companies manufactured talc products following FDA safety guidelines.
Even so, asbestos was associated with talc powder in nine product samples. While the manufacturers may sincerely believe that their products do not contain asbestos, testing modern talc-based cosmetics has shown otherwise.
Some research has shown that women who use talcum powder can potentially increase their risk for ovarian cancer and other cancers, including cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, and others.
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Colon Cancer And Colorectal Cancers
Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon and rectum. The colon is the portion of the large intestine under the stomach. The rectum is the portion of the large intestine that connects the colon to the anus. Colorectal cancers may be called colon or rectal cancer depending on where they start.
A recent study investigated the link between asbestos and colorectal cancer in 14,515 men. It found asbestos exposure associated with a 14% higher than normal risk of colorectal cancers.
Asbestos and Colorectal Cancer Quick Facts
- Yearly Cases: 150,000*
- Asbestos Link: May increase colorectal cancer risk by 14%
*This is an estimate of all colorectal cancer cases, not necessarily asbestos-linked colorectal cancer.
What Are The Risk Factors Associated With Ovarian Cancer
There are some factors that can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. These risk factors include:
- Early menstruation
- Late menopause
Any woman of any age can develop ovarian cancer, but its most common in older women, typically between the ages of 50 and 60. The genes that can cause ovarian cancer are BRCA 1 and BRCA 2, which also increase the risk of developing breast cancer. If someone has a family history of ovarian cancer, which typically means two or more relatives, generally close relatives, who have had ovarian cancer, theres also an increased risk.
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What Is Talcum Powder
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. As a powder, it absorbs moisture well and helps cut down on friction, making it useful for keeping skin dry and helping to prevent rashes. It is widely used in cosmetic products such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders, as well as in a number of other consumer products.
In its natural form, some talc contains asbestos, a substance known to cause cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled .
In 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrances Association , which is the trade association representing the cosmetic and personal care products industry, issued voluntary guidelines stating that all talc used in cosmetic products in the United States should be free from detectable amounts of asbestos according to their standards.
Most concerns about a possible link between talcum powder and cancer have been focused on:
- Whether people who have long-term exposure to talc particles at work, such as talc miners, are at higher risk of lung cancer from breathing them in.
- Whether women who apply talcum powder regularly in the genital area have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Which Talcum Powders Are Harmful
Thousands of companies have used talc in their products in the last hundred years, according to the American Bar Association, but the top products and the brands implicated in ovarian cancer lawsuits to date have been:
- Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower
- Gold Bond Body Powder, Gold Bond No Mess Powder Spray, Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Powder
- Colgate-Palmolive talc
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Does It Cause Ovarian Cancer
Like many questions in science, theres no definitive answer. Finding the cause of cancer is difficult. It would be unethical to do the best kind of study, asking a group of people to use talcum powder and wait to see if it causes cancer, while comparing them to a group who didnt use it.
While ovarian cancer is often fatal, its relatively rare. It accounts for only about 22,000 of the 1.7 million new cases of cancer expected to be diagnosed in the United States this year.
Factors that are known to increase a womens risk of ovarian cancer include age, obesity, use of estrogen therapy after menopause, not having any children, certain genetic mutations and personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
Can I Reduce My Exposure To Talcum Powder
It is not clear if consumer products containing talcum powder increase cancer risk. Studies of personal use of talcum powder have had mixed results, although there is some suggestion of a possible increase in ovarian cancer risk. There is very little evidence at this time that any other forms of cancer are linked with consumer use of talcum powder.
Until more information is available, people concerned about using talcum powder may want to avoid or limit their use of consumer products that contain it.
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What Is The Link Between Talcum Powder And Ovarian Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, there is no direct link to ovarian cancer using asbestos-free talc hygiene products. However, scientists generally accept that using talc with asbestos can cause cancer if inhaled.
However, there is less evidence to show that asbestos-free talc inhaled into the lungs causes cancer. Laboratory studies have been done on animals to see if talc exposure has caused health problems and tumor development.
Other studies have been conducted on humans to identify a potential risk of developing ovarian cancer using talc products among various people. However, there is insufficient evidence to identify problems with using asbestos-free talcum powder products due to mixed results.
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits :: Why Didn’t Johnson & Johnson Warn About Cancer Risks?
Jonathan Rosenfeld of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers shares the talcum powder lawsuit FAQ’s to answer the most-often asked questions about the talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits.
Lawsuits Over Talc And Cancer
Since 2014, Johnson & Johnson has defended its talcum powder in lawsuits brought by families of women who had used their talcum powder products and died from ovarian cancer. In February 2016, the courts ruled in favor of the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer at 62 years old. Particles of talc were found in her ovaries, which were removed after her cancer diagnosis. The courts overturned the ruling just a few months later based on jurisdictional issues that were not related to the science.19 In another matter, a California woman with ovarian cancer won a $70 million dollar against Johnson & Johnson. She continues to fight for fair warning labels on the products it sells. A powder sold by the brand Assured already carries such a warning: Frequent application of talcum powder in the female genital area may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.20
There is some evidence that men may also be harmed by talc. For example, the courts ruled in favor of a New Jersey man because the powder had caused an asbestos-related lung cancer known as mesothelioma. In this case, the talcum powder was likely contaminated with asbestos. Despite the jurys decision, Johnson & Johnson continues to deny claims that their product contains asbestos or that it causes cancer. However, the court held that exposure to asbestos from another source was not a likely cause of his cancer.21
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When And How Often Should You Be Screened For Cancer
Cancer does not always show signs or symptoms right away. In some cases, people may not experience any indication until the cancer is well advanced and difficult or impossible to treat. Thats why you should have routine screenings for some of the most common cancers.
Your risk for cancer usually changes as you get older. For that reason, you should adjust your cancer screenings as you age. Some of the most important screenings include those for colon, breast, cervical, prostate and lung cancers.
Timeframe for Cancer Screenings by Age
- Ages 20 to 29:
Other Types Of Talcum Powder Cancer
Prolonged exposure to talc, either through inhalation or through the use of talcum powder on the body can lead to the development of various types of cancer.
Workers who mine or mill talc may inhale loose talc particles and develop lung cancer. Women who use talc-based powder products on their genitals may develop ovarian or uterine cancer. In rarer cases, talcum powder use has also been linked to stomach cancer.
Tumors caused by talc-based products can metastasize and spread to other areas of the body. Ovarian cancer, for example, has been known to spread to the bladder and, in its later stages, to the lungs. The cancers most commonly associated with talc are listed below.
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Can Women With The Brca Genetic Mutation File A Talc Lawsuit
In 2013, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie made an announcement that would shine a spotlight on a genetic mutation called BRCA. BRCA is short for breast cancer. Women, like Jolie, who carry this genetic mutation are more at risk for developing breast cancer.
Because she had the BRCA genetic mutation, Jolie decided to undergo a preemptive double mastectomy.
Jolie isnt in the minority of women who carry the BRCA gene. In fact, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, every single person on the planet possesses both BRCA 1 and 2 genes. And the genes themselves do not cause breast cancer. In fact, both these genes may play a role in preventing cancer. But in women such as Ms. Jolie, there is a specific mutation in the gene or genes.
The genetic mutation occurs when the BRCA genes fail to suppress tumors. A common misconception is that merely having the BRCA genes means that youll develop breast cancer. To reiterate, everybody has the BRCA genesthe problem is when the genes dont work properly.
What Are The Symptoms Of Ovarian Cancer
The symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- Weight loss
- Changes in bowel movements
Because ovarian cancer is so difficult to detect in its early stages when its much more easily treatable, its important to see a doctor if you experience any of the symptoms. This is especially important if you have a family history of either breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
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How Is It Diagnosed
The earlier your cancer diagnosed, the more likely it can be successfully treated. Most cancers usually dont occur until a person is 50 or older. But regardless of age, its important to know your body and let your doctor know if you notice any significant changes in it.
Because there are so many types of cancer, its difficult, if not impossible, for most people to know every cancer symptom. Making things even more difficult, cancer can cause almost any kind of symptom. Most symptoms associated with cancer are likely due to some other, less serious condition. With cancer, these symptoms tend to be unusual and persistent.
No one symptom may be enough for a doctor to determine whether you have cancer. Multiple symptoms may lead your doctor to recommend medical tests such as blood tests, biopsies or medical imaging.
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Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits: What Type Of Cancer Does Talcum Powder Cause
Clear links have been found between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, and research has also found evidence linking talcum powder and mesothelioma. How does talcum powder cause ovarian cancer? When its used on sanitary napkins, undergarments, and other items that sit close to the vulva, talc with asbestos contamination can travel into the vagina and the rest of the female reproductive system. In addition, talc has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, primarily in workers who mine talc. There are no known links between talc and other types of cancer at this time, but it has been speculated to cause uterine cancer and cervical cancer, too.
Does Talc Cause Ovarian Cancer
For years, theres been a concern about talcum powder and other talc-based cosmetics and whether they cause cancer, especially when used in the genital area.
Many studies have investigated the link, but strong evidence that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer remains limited. The National Cancer Institute says the weight of existing evidence doesnt support a link between talc and ovarian cancer.
While some studies have shown a small increase in the risk of ovarian cancer among women who used talcum powder on the outer part of their genitals, between the vagina and the anus , other studies show no evidence of increased risk using talcum powder in that area. Some studies that showed some small increased risk relied on women to remember their talcum powder usage from years earlier, a flaw experts refer to as recall bias.
Research into the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is ongoing.
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Have There Been Any Talcum Powder Lawsuits Compensating Victims
The Wall Street Journal reported that in late 2019, a New Jersey jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to compensate four talcum powder lawsuit plaintiffs $750 million to resolve their claim.
However, the judge reduced the fine to $186 million, even though the jury found that the baby powder had allegedly caused the plaintiff’s cancer, reducing the amount of money each plaintiff receives for economic damages, pain, and suffering.
Bloomberg News reported that in 2018, California jurors asked the court if J & J could be required to add a cancer warning to its talc products, including baby powder.
The judge responded that they had no authority to do that. The jurors’ verdict included $4 million in punitive damages as a punishment to J & J for harming consumers.
In October 2020, J & J agreed to pay plaintiffs over $100 million in a negotiated settlement to resolve talcum powder cancer lawsuits. As a result, these product liability claims were not part of class-action lawsuits.
There are still thousands of lawsuits yet to be resolved involving the use of talc products and ovarian cancer development. In addition, many more potential plaintiffs will file talcum powder cancer lawsuits in the months ahead so long as the statute of limitations has not expired in the case.
Who Is Eligible To File A Lawsuit
As of October 2019, over 6,900 powder ovarian cancer lawsuit cases had been filed involving claims that talc products caused ovarian cancer. Any woman who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer is eligible to file a talc powder lawsuit.
There are no time limits for filing a lawsuit. However, numerous specific factors could determine how much compensation an individual might recover if they win their case, including:
- How long has the woman been using talcum powder products for feminine hygiene purposes?
- The severity of a woman’s ovarian cancer, if it is determined that the use of talcum powder caused her cancer
- The presence or absence of other causes for developing ovarian cancer, if it can be proven that using talc was a primary cause of her cancer
Estimating the potential payout in a talcum powder lawsuit can be challenging to do without the consultation of an experienced attorney, who will consider all relevant facts and contributing factors when determining how much — if any — compensation your case might be worth.
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