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Talcum Powder & the Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Have you ever used talcum powder before? If you’re like most people, there’s a strong chance you have. Talcum powder is essentially the mineral talc ground up into an extraordinarily fine powder that has exceptional moisture absorbing qualities. It’s been a staple in homes around the world for many years, particularly in families with infants, and people young and old have relied on it for many reasons. However, that may be changing soon.

Research that has been conducted for many years initially pointed to and continues to only strengthen a link between the use of talcum powder and the development of ovarian cancer. Multiple studies over the course of several decades have determined that there was at least some sort of a link between the use of talcum powder-based products and cancer of the ovaries. In many of these studies, women who contracted ovarian cancer were asked whether or not they recalled using talcum powder as a part of their hygiene routines. Nearly 70 percent of women who had contracted ovarian cancer claimed that they had used talcum powder products near their genital area in the past.

It’s widely believed that the use of talc powder near the genital area causes inflammation of the ovaries, which leads to the development and growth of cancer cells. However, not all powder products contain talc. There are several similar products that use corn starch or other harmless substitutes for talc and have shown no discernable evidence of a connection to ovarian cancer.

A study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts sampled over 3,500 women living in the same geographic region who had contracted ovarian cancer and found that women who used talcum powder in their genital area were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. How much more likely? 33 percent. That’s an increase from 1.3 percent of a lifetime risk to 1.7 percent. That number increased even further for women who were sterilized prior to menopause or those who underwent hormone therapy to combat menopausal symptoms. However, the risk actually decreased for women who produced an excess of estrogen.

Your Options If You’ve Sustained Ovarian Cancer

Does this make it a “defective product?” Not necessarily, however numerous plaintiffs have cited that manufacturers long knew about the connection between ovarian cancer and sustained talcum powder use, and yet failed to warn their consumers. This has led to a spree of allegations that the lack of adequate warning and considerable damage as well as wrongful deaths by ovarian cancer caused by these products should make manufacturers responsible.

Since the year 2014, Johnson & Johnson, one of the leading producers of talcum powder products in the United States, has been fighting back against lawsuits filed by women who have sustained ovarian cancer or their families. And the victims have earned some substantial verdicts in their favor. A California woman was awarded $70 million in damages, while earlier this year a New Jersey woman was awarded $117 million in damages.

However, these are just two examples of success, and many cases are still up in the air. Johnson & Johnson alleges that the connection is not backed by solid scientific evidence, and they have successfully fought back against several suits and even won several others on appeal.

If you suspect that the use of talcum powder products may have caused you or a loved one to sustain ovarian cancer, it’s important that you review your options with a Stuart personal injury attorney. The legal saga surrounding these types of cases is changing constantly, and it’s important to learn what you can do, how you can prove your case, and how you can effectively pursue the damages you are owed.

Call Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC today at (866) 675-4427 to request a case evaluation and learn more about your rights as a victim of these potentially dangerous products.