Jan 11

Momma Said

1 comment

My family are country people and they would always tell us as little girls to put baby powder on your private area. Unknown to them that years later it would come to be proven that the chemicals in the baby powder sifted in your private area would cause cancer of the cervic. Johnson & Johnson did not include this chemical in their products that they sold in Europe because it was banned but in the US it did not matter. I thought how many times did I put baby powder on my baby girls cause mamma said.

 

Does talcum powder cause cancer?

When talking about whether or not talcum powder is linked to cancer, it is important to distinguish between talc that contains asbestos and talc that is asbestos-free. Talc that has asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled. The evidence about asbestos-free talc is less clear.

Researchers use 2 main types of studies to try to figure out if a substance or exposure causes cancer.

 

Studies in people

Ovarian cancer

It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.

Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovary. Findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase. Many case-control studies have found a small increase in risk. But these types of studies can be biased because they often rely on a person’s memory of talc use many years earlier.  One prospective cohort study, which would not have the same type of potential bias, has not found an increased risk. A second found a modest increase in risk of one type of ovarian cancer.

 

For any individual woman, if there is an increased risk, the overall increase is likely to very be small. Still, talc is widely used in many products, so it is important to determine if the increased risk is real. Research in this area continues.

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