Study finds no link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer

Talculm powder

A study by the US National Institute of Environmental Health Science has found no link between ovarian cancer use of talcum powder.

Published in the
Journal of the American Medicine Association 
on 7 January 2020, the study pooled data from 252,745 women categorised as either ‘ever’ users (10%), who had used talcum powder in the genital area for more than 20 years, ‘frequent’ users (22%), who used it at least once or week, or ‘never’ users: making this “the largest study of this topic to date”, the authors claim.

The study found that over a median follow-up period of 11.2 years, ovarian cancer incidence among ‘ever’ users was 61 cases per 100,00 person-years, and among ‘never’ users it was 55 cases per 100,000 person-years. It also found that the estimated hazard ratio (HR) for frequent use versus never use was 1.09 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.97–1.23), and the HR for long-term use versus never use was 1.01 (95% CI 0.82–1.25).

The authors concluded that there was no statistically significant association between ovarian cancer and talcum powder use.

In August 2017, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded damages and compensation of US$417m to a woman who claimed that her terminal ovarian cancer was caused by using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products for feminine hygiene.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Study finds no link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2020.20207544

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