Talcum Powder Linked To An Increased Risk Of Ovarian Cancer

Talcum powder is made from the purified mineral talc. Talc is composed of hydrated magnesium silicate, and in powdered form is found in several products like baby powder and makeup.

Talc is sold globally for use in personal hygiene and cosmetics – both cheap and expensive – but some suspect the mineral may promote certain types of diseases: mainly cancers of the ovaries and lungs. The Science World Report states women who regularly use talcum powder have an elevated risk of developing ovarian cancer by 24 percent.

Doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston gathered data from eight different studies, which produced some interesting results, according to a latest study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

The study compared a group of 8,525 women who were diagnosed with cancer against 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 tumors. Researchers concentrated on the use of talcum powder in the genital area and excluded the use of talc on the rest of the body.

Talcum powder applied to intimate areas can cause inflammation in the lower genital tract, and when it shifts to the pelvic lymph nodes, creates immune interference, thereby elevating the risk.

The CDC reports all women are at risk for ovarian cancer, especially women over 40 – with the highest persistence among those over 60. On average 20,000 women in the US are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually. Survivability depends on the stage of discovery, age and health of the individual, and treatment plan.

Additionally, talcum powder is harmful if inhaled since it may cause aspiration pneumonia or granuloma. Talcum powder poisoning may occur when someone accidentally or intentionally breathes in or swallows talcum powder. Breathing problems can result from long-term inhalation of talc dust, especially in infants. Chronic exposure can cause throat irritation, difficulty breathing, coughing, vomiting, and diarrhea.

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