Ovarian Cancer Canada

Western Regional Blog – BC, YK, AB, NWT and Nunavut

Talcum Powder Elevates the Risk of Ovarian Cancer: Study


Talcum powder also known as talc is mainly used by women to remain fresh and active.  The practice of discreetly dabbing talcum powder near the genital area as a hygiene regime might put one at a greater risk of ovarian cancer.

According to a latest study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, those women who regularly use talcum powder are nearly a quarter more likely to suffer the risk of being diagnosed of ovarian cancer.

Although several earlier studies have highlighted concerns over the use of talc by women and some even hinted at a link between the use of talcum and ovarian cancer but none of the studies produced any conclusive results.

For the latest finding, doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston garnered data from eight different studies, which gave some definite results.

Talcum powder is made of soft mineral particles called hydrous magnesium silicate, which can enter the body through the intimate areas. This process can cause inflammation in the lower genital tract and when it shifts to the pelvic lymph nodes, it causes immune dysregulation thereby elevating the risk of ovarian tumor by 24 percent.

The study compared a group of 8,525 women who were diagnosed with cancer with 9,800 women who didn’t have any history of cancer. They noticed that regularly applying talcum powder after bathing increased the risk of ovarian tumor by 24 percent. In this study the researchers concentrated on the use of talcum powder in the genital area and excluded the use of talc on the rest of the body, reports Daily Mail.

Earlier studies have suggested that the risk of ovarian cancer is highest in one in ten Caucasian women who have a specific genetic code. Those women who have the gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, or lack the gene called glutathione S-transferase T1 (GSTT1) are three times at risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ovarian cancer, mostly referred to as a silent killer, causes more death when compared to other cancers of the female reproductive system. By the times it is detected in most cases it is too late. Each year, about 20,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.


This entry was posted on June 21, 2013 by in In the News and tagged , , , .

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