Did You Develop Cancer After Using Talcum Powder for Feminine Hygiene?
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Numerous studies have shown that talc-containing powder has been linked to cancer. If you are reading this report, the chances are that you or a loved are searching for additional information regarding cancer and talcum powder. This report is designed to give you additional information about the issue and some key facts about the cancer talcum powder connection. We also tell you how you can get help to file a claim against the parties responsible for placing a product on the market that has been linked to cancer.
Some scientists have raised safety concerns regarding the use of talcum powder by women for personal hygiene. One study in 1971 discovered that the ovaries studied had talc in them. Scientists continued to conduct research into the link between talc-containing products (i.e. Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder) and ovarian cancer.
Can I Get Cancer from Using Baby Powder?
Ovarian cancer is a deadly disease that claims the lives of thousands of women each year. The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) estimates that each year, another 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Women suffering from this type of cancer may not realize they have the disease until it is too late for successful treatment because a lack of early symptoms. Early treatment of the cancer is vital for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Scientists continue their research into the causes of ovarian cancer and ways to detect the disease earlier.
At this time, thousands of claims have been filed by women in the United States alleging that their ovarian cancer was caused by talcum powder. Over one thousand lawsuits have been filed to date against the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, alleging the company promoted Baby Powder and other products containing talcum powder as safe to use for feminine hygiene when the products actually caused ovarian cancer.
In more than 1,200 lawsuits filed against J&J, claimants allege the company had knowledge that talc was linked to cancer when a woman used the product for genital hygiene, but the company failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers of the potential danger. As more women discover their ovarian cancer is linked to talcum powder, the number of lawsuits could grow.
What Does Science Tell Us About Talc and Cancer?
Many of the studies conducted since 1971 discovered a connection between ovarian cancer and the use of talc. The studies found an increased risk for ovarian cancer in women who dusted talcum powder in the perineal area, including dusting the powder inside underwear or on sanitary pads.
Although the list below is not an exhaustive list of the research conducted to date on talcum powder and ovarian cancer, the following studies revealed a positive link between an increased risk of cancer and the use of talc near the genitals.
- 1971 — Researchers found talc particles embedded in ovarian tumor tissues of 75 percent (10 out of 13) of the patients who participated in the study. (Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the British Commonwealth).
- 1982 — Researchers in a Harvard study found that women had a three times greater chance of developing ovarian cancer when they dusted powder on their undergarments, sanitary napkins, or genitals. (Cancer)
- 1988 — In a Stanford study, researchers discovered a relative risk of 1.40 for females who dusted talc-containing powder on their perineum. (American Journal of Epidemiology)
- 1989 — Researchers observed a heightened chance of developing ovarian cancer when talc was used in the genital area. (British Journal of Cancer)
- 1992 — A study in Beijing discovered that women who applied talc-containing powder near the perineum had an increased risk of ovarian cancer. (Internal Journal of Epidemiology)
- 1992 — According to researchers, the biggest risk for ovarian cancer was linked with ongoing use of talcum powder around the genitals. (Obstetrics and Gynecology)
- 1995 — Use of talc in the perineal region was linked to the occurrence of ovarian cancer. (International Journal of Cancer)
- 1997 — Genital talc exposure was extensively linked to the risk of ovarian cancer according to researchers. (Cancer)
- 1997 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledges that talc particles are associated with inflammation, and inflammation is associated with the development of certain types of cancer, including ovarian cancer.
- 1999 —A substantial link between the use of talc-containing powder for genital hygiene and the possibility of ovarian cancer was found in the study. The study recommended formal public health warnings. (International Journal of Cancer)
- 2006 —Talc is classified as a “2B – Possible Carcinogenic to Humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- 2015 — After talc exposure, published research revealed a 30-60 percent higher chance of ovarian cancer. (International Journal of Gynecological Cancer)
How Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
The advertising for Shower-to-Shower powder told us to use a little a day, and it would keep the odors away. Women who followed this advice claim that they developed ovarian cancer when they dusted the powder on their underclothing or anywhere near their perineal area. They did not know about the risk of talc from the powder migrating from the vagina into the ovaries. The tiny particles move through the reproductive system to embed themselves in the ovaries. The particles then cause inflammation in the ovarian tissue. Many types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, can be caused by inflammation.
What Have the Courts Said About Claims that Talc Causes Ovarian Cancer?
Three of the talc-cancer cases to be heard recently by the court are:
- The first lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson was filed by Diane Berg in 2009. She had learned about the numerous studies linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 49 years old. Berg claims that she had used the powder for feminine hygiene purposes for the majority of her life. J&J offered to settle the lawsuit for $1.3 million if Berg agreed to a confidentiality agreement. She refused and proceeded with the lawsuit alleging gross negligence and fraud. In 2013, a jury found that the talc in the powder was a contributing factor in the development of her cancer.
- The family of Jackie Fox filed a lawsuit alleging that Johnson & Johnson hid important information about the increased risk of ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder for personal hygiene. Fox had been using the powder for years when she died from ovarian cancer at the age of 62 years. During the trial, the plaintiffs presented a copy of an internal memo from a medical consultant for J&J claiming that denying the association of ovarian cancer and talcum powder is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.” In February 2016, the lawsuit was resolved in a jury awarded the family $72 million. The foreman of the jury said that it was clear the company was hiding something.
- In another verdict in May 2016, a jury awarded a plaintiff $55 million after she filed a lawsuit alleging the J&J knew of the risk and did nothing to warn the public. Gloria Ristesund had used J&J’s product for more than 40 years. She had to have a hysterectomy and go through cancer treatment for her ovarian cancer. In addition to alleging the company failed to provide adequate warnings, she also alleged that the company targeted groups who had a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, including overweight women, blacks, and Latinos.
Johnson & Johnson Vows to Appeal Decisions
J&J continues to deny the link between its products and ovarian cancer. It claims to care about its consumers by putting their safety and health first. However, the company stands by its claims that decades of scientific evidence supports its belief that cosmetic talc is safe to use. The company states that it intends to appeal the decision in the Ristesund case.
What Should You Do Now?
The extreme emotional stress, mental anguish, physical pain, and financial toll that ovarian cancer causes for a woman and her family is overwhelming. There is no amount of money that can change the grief and suffering you and your family have endured. The last thing you want, or need is to fight a giant pharmaceutical company like Johnson & Johnson on your own. That is why we step in and take up the fight for you. Our experienced pharmaceutical litigation attorneys aggressively pursue these claims to hold big pharma accountable and liable.
When you hire our firm, you can trust that you will receive exceptional personal care and attention. Your comfort and trust are very important to us. Because we know you are anxious about the case, we will keep you updated on relevant developments while allowing you to focus on your health and your family.
If you use talcum-based products and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we want to help. Contact our office for a free case review and free legal consultation. We have been advocating for the rights of injury victims and their families for decades. We are dedicated to helping victims seek and receive the justice they deserve.