Ovarian cancer prevention mentions avoiding Talc products

March 22nd, 2010

Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.

To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective factor.

Some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, both smoking and inheriting certain genes are risk factors for some types of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Regular exercise and a healthy diet may be protective factors for some types of cancer. Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get cancer.

Different ways to prevent cancer are being studied, including:

  • Changing lifestyle or eating habits.
  • Avoiding things known to cause cancer.
  • Taking medicines to treat a precancerouscondition or to keep cancer from starting.

Ovarian cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the ovaries.

The ovaries are a pair of organs in the female reproductive system. They are in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus (the hollow, pear-shaped organ where a fetus grows). Each ovary is about the size and shape of an almond. The ovaries make eggs and female hormones (chemicals that control the way certain cells or organs work in the body).

Anatomy of the female reproductive system. The organs in the female reproductive system include the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. The uterus has a muscular outer layer called the myometrium and an inner lining called the endometrium.

Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer of the female reproductive system.

Since 1987, the number of new cases of ovarian cancer has gone down slightly, but the chance of dying from ovarian cancer has stayed the same.

It is hard to find ovarian cancer early. Early ovarian cancer may not cause any symptoms. When symptoms do appear, ovarian cancer is often advanced.

See the following PDQ summaries for more information about ovarian cancer:

  • Ovarian Cancer Screening
  • Ovarian Epithelial Cancer Treatment
  • Ovarian Germ Cell Tumors Treatment
  • Ovarian Low Malignant Potential Tumors Treatment
  • Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent cancer.

Avoiding cancerrisk factors such as smoking, being overweight, and lack of exercise may help prevent certain cancers. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.

The following risk factors may increase the risk of ovarian cancer:

Family history of ovarian cancer

A woman whose mother or sister had ovarian cancer has an increased risk of ovarian cancer. A woman with two or more relatives with ovarian cancer also has an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Inherited risk

The risk of ovarian cancer is increased in women who have inherited certain changes in the following genes:

  • BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
  • Genes that are linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC; Lynch syndrome).

Hormone replacement therapy

The use of estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause increases the risk of ovarian cancer. The longer estrogen replacement therapy is used, the greater the risk may be. It is not clear whether the risk of ovarian cancer is increased with the use of HRT that has both estrogen and progestin.

Fertility drugs

The use of fertilitydrugs may be linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Talc

The use of talc may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Talcum powder dusted on the perineum (the area between the vagina and the anus) may reach the ovaries by entering the vagina.

Obesity

Having too much body fat, especially during the teenage years, is linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Being obese is linked to an increased risk of death from ovarian cancer.

The following protective factors may decrease the risk of ovarian cancer:

Oral contraceptives

The use of oral contraceptives (“the pill”) lowers ovarian cancer risk. The longer oral contraceptives are used, the lower the risk may be. The decrease in risk may last up to 25 years after a woman has stopped using oral contraceptives.

Taking oral contraceptives increases the risk of blood clots. This risk is higher in women who also smoke. There may be a slight increase in a woman’s risk of breast cancer during the time she is taking oral contraceptives. This risk decreases over time.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are linked to a decreased risk of ovarian cancer. Ovulation stops or occurs less often in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Some experts believe that women who ovulate less often have a decreased risk of ovarian cancer.

Bilateral tubal ligation or hysterectomy

The risk of ovarian cancer is decreased in women who have a bilateraltubal ligation (surgery to close both fallopian tubes) or a hysterectomy (surgery to remove the uterus).

Prophylactic oophorectomy

Some women who have a high risk of ovarian cancer may choose to have a prophylactic oophorectomy (surgery to remove both ovaries when there are no signs of cancer). This includes women who have inherited certain changes in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or in the genes linked to hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC). (See the PDQ summary on Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer for more information.)

It is very important to have a cancer risk assessment and counseling before making this decision. These and other factors should be discussed:

  • Early menopause: The drop in estrogen levels caused by removing the ovaries can cause early menopause. Symptoms of menopause include the following:
    • Hot flashes.
    • Night sweats.
    • Trouble sleeping.
    • Mood changes.
    • Decreased sex drive.
    • Heart disease.
    • Vaginal dryness.
    • Osteoporosis (decreased bone density).

    These symptoms may not be the same in all women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be needed to lessen these symptoms.

  • Risk of ovarian cancer in the peritoneum: Women who have had a prophylacticoophorectomy continue to have a small risk of ovarian cancer in the peritoneum (thin layer of tissue that lines the inside of the abdomen). This may occur if ovarian cancer cells had already spread to the peritoneum before the surgery or if some ovarian tissue remains after surgery.

Cancer prevention clinical trials are used to study ways to prevent cancer.

Cancer preventionclinical trials are used to study ways to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer. Some cancer prevention trials are conducted with healthy people who have not had cancer but who have an increased risk for cancer. Other prevention trials are conducted with people who have had cancer and are trying to prevent another cancer of the same type or to lower their chance of developing a new type of cancer. Other trials are done with healthy volunteers who are not known to have any risk factors for cancer.

The purpose of some cancer prevention clinical trials is to find out whether actions people take can prevent cancer. These may include eating fruits and vegetables, exercising, quitting smoking, or taking certain medicines, vitamins, minerals, or food supplements.

New ways to prevent ovarian cancer are being studied in clinical trials.

Clinical trials are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about clinical trials can be found in the Clinical Trials section of the NCI Web site. Check for clinical trials in NCI’s PDQ Cancer Clinical Trials Registry for ovarian cancer prevention trials that are now accepting patients.

Home Remedies for Women and Herpes Relief Raise Cancer Fears

March 19th, 2010

Home Remedies

Patients can manage most herpes simplex infections that develop on the skin at home with over-the-counter painkillers and measures to relieve symptoms.

SYMPTOMATIC RELIEF

Several simple steps can produce some relief:

  • Hygiene is important. Avoid touching the sores. Wash hands frequently during the day. Fingernails should be scrubbed daily. Keep the body clean.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep blisters or sores clean and dry with cornstarch or similar product. (Women should not use talcum powder because it may increase their risk for ovarian cancer.)
  • Some people report that drying the genital area with a blow dryer on the cool setting offers relief.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing, which restricts air circulation and slows healing of the sores.
  • Choose cotton underwear, rather than synthetic materials.
  • Local application of ice packs may alleviate the pain and help reduce recurrences by suppressing the virus.
  • Lukewarm baths may be helpful.
  • Wearing sun block helps prevent sun-triggered recurrence of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1).
  • Avoid sex during both outbreaks and prodromes (the early symptoms of herpes), when signs include tingling, itching, or tenderness in the infected areas.
  • Over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), can be used to reduce fever and local tenderness.

HERBS AND SUPPLEMENTS

Generally, manufacturers of herbal remedies and dietary supplements do not need FDA approval to sell their products. Just like a drug, herbs and supplements can affect the body’s chemistry, and therefore have the potential to produce side effects that may be harmful. There have been several reported cases of serious and even lethal side effects from herbal products. Always check with your doctor before using any herbal remedies or dietary supplements.

Many herbal and dietary supplement products claim to help fight herpes infection by boosting the immune system. There has been little research on these products, and little evidence to show that they really work. Some are capsules taken by mouth. Others come in the form of ointment that is applied to the skin. Popular herbal and supplement remedies for herpes simplex include:

  • Echinacea ( Echinacea purpurea )
  • Siberian ginseng ( Eleutherococcus senticosus )
  • Aloe ( Aloe vera )
  • Bee products that contain propolis, a tree resin collected by bees
  • Lysine
  • Zinc

The following are special concerns for people taking natural remedies for herpes simplex:

  • Echinacea can lower white blood cell levels when taken for long periods of time. This herb can also interfere with drugs that are used to treat immune system disorders.
  • Siberian ginseng can raise blood pressure levels.
  • Bee products (like propolis) can cause allergic reactions in people who are allergic to bee stings.
  • Lysine should not be taken with certain types of antibiotics.
  • Taking zinc in large amounts (more than 200 mg/day) can cause stomach upset.

Screening may hold the key to beating ovarian cancer

March 18th, 2010

Survival rates in British women with cancer of the ovary are well below those of their peers in the US and most of Europe. This is a situation that the Department of Health and leading cancer charities hope to address through a joint campaign to increase awareness of the symptoms of the disease – both among women and healthcare professionals. So what are the early signs? Who is most at risk? And what steps can women take to protect themselves?

Around 7,000 women in the UK, most of them over 50, will develop ovarian cancer this year. The majority will not survive because by the time their cancer is picked up it will be too advanced to be cured – a characteristic that has earned ovarian cancer a reputation as a “silent killer”. It is not silent and there are early warning signs, but they are vague, often ignored and/or attributed to less sinister causes.

Abdominal discomfort – particularly bloating or feeling full and uncomfortable after meals – is a recurring complaint in women with cancer of the ovary, and one that is often confused with the much more common irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). But new-onset IBS is unusual over the age of 45 and this sort of story should ring alarm bells, particularly if the symptoms are persistent rather than intermittent.

Other features include a change in bowel habit (also often wrongly attributed to IBS), urinary problems (such as needing to go more often, or a feeling of incomplete emptying when infection has been excluded), extreme fatigue, back pain, discomfort on making love and, in the later stages, an obvious swelling. Once again it is the persistent, rather than intermittent, nature of the symptoms that warrants a closer look.

Basic investigations that can pick up the disease include an internal examination, a blood test (looking for raised levels of a tumour marker called CA125) and a pelvic ultrasound scan. All can be ordered by a suspicious GP before referring on to a gynaecologist to clinch the diagnosis.

The average GP will see only one case of ovarian cancer every five years. Indeed, I have picked up only two cases in closer to 20. One I caught early by accident – a scan performed for another reason spotted suspicious changes in her ovary – and the other was in a woman with recurrent bouts of “cystitis” in whom I didn’t need to do a scan to discover something was awry. I could feel her enlarged ovary through her tummy.

As with most cancers, time is critical and the outlook for my patients was very different. Treatment focuses on surgery and chemotherapy, and at least three quarters of women can expect to beat the disease if it is caught at an early stage, compared with less than a third if it has spread beyond the ovary.

Ovarian cancer can strike at any age but is rare before 40, with nine out of ten cases occurring in women over 50. It is linked to certain genes – such as the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 – but these familial types of cancer of the ovary account for only around 10 per cent of all cases. Still, if a woman has a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, particularly in relatives under the age of 50, then she should talk to her GP about screening.

There are two big UK-based trials looking at the benefits of screening women for the disease. Both use a combination of the CA125 blood test and ultrasound scans and early results are promising. Screening does appear to help to pick up the cancer at a much more treatable stage, but is not foolproof and will still miss around 1 in 10 cases.

Whatever the trials conclude, it will be some time before screening is introduced, if ever. In the meantime there are steps women can take to reduce their risk. The Pill, and other hormonal contraceptives that prevent monthly ovulation, appear to have a significant protective effect, as does having children and breast feeding. The disease is also much less common in women who have been sterilised.

Taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for more than five years increases the risk, as does being very overweight. And several studies have suggested an association with the use of talcum powder (which can gain entry to the pelvis and ovary by travelling up through the vagina and womb), but the link remains unclear. That said, I advise my female patients never to use talcum powder below the waist, except on their feet.

But better awareness of the symptoms, and pushing for them to be taken seriously if they fit the criteria above, will remain a woman’s best defence.

Talcum Powder Cancer Alarm

March 17th, 2010

Saying that talcum powder and other cosmetic talc products may pose a risk of ovarian cancer, two scientist scientists have again asked the Food and Drug Administration to require talc products have warning labels.

The controversy over talc, which many women use to mask genital odors, goes back to 1994, when the Cancer Prevention Coalition petitioned the FDA. That petition was rejected at the end of the Clinton Administration, in December 2000.

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers), with one in 71 women affected, according to the American Cancer Society. There will be an estimated 21,650 new cases diagnosed in 2008, and 15,520 deaths. Overall, though, the incidence of ovarian cancer has declined slightly in the past 20 years.

“Nevertheless, the industry and, worse still the FDA, remain recklessly unresponsive to these dangers,” write the two scientists, Dr. Samuel S. Epstein, chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, and Dr. Quentin Young, chairman of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group. “The FDA has neither banned the genital use of talcum powder, nor required industry to label it with explicit warnings.”

Women warned of talcum powder cancer risk

March 12th, 2010

Women should stop using talcum power because of the risk of ovarian cancer, according to researchers.

Scientists fear particles applied to the private parts may travel to the ovaries and trigger a process of inflammation that allows cancer cells to flourish.

Although previous studies have raised concerns over talc, the latest findings from the United States suggest woman who use it are 40 per cent more likely to get ovarian cancer – a much greater risk than first thought.

Experts from Harvard Medical School in Boston studied more than 3,000 women and found using talc merely once a week raised the risk of cancer by 36 per cent, rising to 41 per cent for those applying powder every day.

Dr Maggie Gates, who led the study, said that until the outcome of further research women should avoid using talc in the genital area. An alternative is cornstarch powder.

But Dr Jodie Moffat of Cancer Research UK said: “It is important to remember that very few women who use talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer.”

The study revealed that the risks were greater still for those with a certain genetic profile. Women carrying a gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but lacking a gene called glutathione S-transferase T1 ( GSTT1), were nearly three times as likely to develop tumours. Around one in ten Caucasian women are thought to have this genetic profile, putting them at sharply increased risk.

Talc is made from a soft mineral called hydrous magnesium silicate, which is found throughout the world. It is crushed, dried and milled to produce powder used in cosmetic products by millions. Some experts say it has chemical similarities to asbestos, which can cause a deadly form of lung cancer.

The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, apply only to talcum powder used around the private parts, not on the rest of the body.

Laboratory tests show ovarian cells exposed to talc divide more rapidly – a characteristic sign of cancer.

But until recently there was no proof that powder could travel through a woman’s reproductive tract as far as the pelvis and then on to the ovaries.

However, last year, a separate group of doctors at Harvard Medical School identified tiny particles of powder in the pelvis of a 68-year-old woman with advanced ovarian cancer who had used talc every day for 30 years.

More than 6,000 women a year in the UK are diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries.

The main risk factors include a family history of the disease, having already had breast cancer and starting periods at a young age.

Women who are overweight or use hormone replacement therapy are also thought to be more at risk.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Hotline – 1 (866) 952-1422

Attorney R. Allen Smith, Jr., of The Talc Litigation Group, filed the very first talcum ovarian cancer lawsuit on December 7, 2009. This talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit seeks damages against several talcum powder mining companies, refiners, manufacturers and product distributors for continuing to manufacture, market, and sell a product that has been medically proven to cause cancers such as ovarian cancer. Talc Litigation Group offers a free talcum powder cancer case review and ovarian cancer screenings in all 50 states.Women should stop using talcum power because of the risk of ovarian cancer, according to researchers.

By Alastair Jamieson
Published: 12:00PM BST 27 Sep 2008
Scientists fear particles applied to the private parts may travel to the ovaries and trigger a process of inflammation that allows cancer cells to flourish.
Although previous studies have raised concerns over talc, the latest findings from the United States suggest woman who use it are 40 per cent more likely to get ovarian cancer – a much greater risk than first thought.
Experts from Harvard Medical School in Boston studied more than 3,000 women and found using talc merely once a week raised the risk of cancer by 36 per cent, rising to 41 per cent for those applying powder every day.
Dr Maggie Gates, who led the study, said that until the outcome of further research women should avoid using talc in the genital area. An alternative is cornstarch powder.
But Dr Jodie Moffat of Cancer Research UK said: “It is important to remember that very few women who use talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer.”
The study revealed that the risks were greater still for those with a certain genetic profile. Women carrying a gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but lacking a gene called glutathione S-transferase T1 ( GSTT1), were nearly three times as likely to develop tumours. Around one in ten Caucasian women are thought to have this genetic profile, putting them at sharply increased risk.
Talc is made from a soft mineral called hydrous magnesium silicate, which is found throughout the world. It is crushed, dried and milled to produce powder used in cosmetic products by millions. Some experts say it has chemical similarities to asbestos, which can cause a deadly form of lung cancer.
The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, apply only to talcum powder used around the private parts, not on the rest of the body.
Laboratory tests show ovarian cells exposed to talc divide more rapidly – a characteristic sign of cancer.
But until recently there was no proof that powder could travel through a woman’s reproductive tract as far as the pelvis and then on to the ovaries.
However, last year, a separate group of doctors at Harvard Medical School identified tiny particles of powder in the pelvis of a 68-year-old woman with advanced ovarian cancer who had used talc every day for 30 years.
More than 6,000 women a year in the UK are diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries.
The main risk factors include a family history of the disease, having already had breast cancer and starting periods at a young age.
Women who are overweight or use hormone replacement therapy are also thought to be more at risk.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit Hotline – 1 (866) 952-1422
Attorney R. Allen Smith, Jr., of The Talc Litigation Group, filed the very first talcum ovarian cancer lawsuit on December 7, 2009. This talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit seeks damages against several talcum powder mining companies, refiners, manufacturers and product distributors for continuing to manufacture, market, and sell a product that has been medically proven to cause cancers such as ovarian cancer. Talc Litigation Group offers a free talcum powder cancer case review and ovarian cancer screenings in all 50 states.

Talc use raises risk of ovarian cancer

March 1st, 2010

Women have been warned to stop using talcum powder around their genitals after research found it could increase the risk of ovarian cancer by up to 40%.

Although previous studies have raised concern about talcum powder, American scientists now fear it can travel up a woman’s reproductive tract as far as the ovaries and cause inflammation that allows cancer cells to flourish.

Scientists at Harvard Medical School studied more than 3000 women and found using talc once a week raised the risk of ovarian cancer by 36%, rising to 41% for those who use it every day.

The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, apply only to talcum powder used around the genital area, not the rest of the body.

Cancer Council of Australia chief executive Professor Ian Olver said women should avoid using talcum powder on their genitals until the outcome of further research. “It doesn’t make the case definitively, but given we have no way of screening for ovarian cancer and it’s difficult to pick up the symptoms, this is something women can do to reduce their risk,” he said.

The study revealed that the risks were greater still for those with a certain genetic profile.

Women carrying a gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but lacking a gene called glutathione S-transferase T1 (GSTT1), were nearly three times as likely to develop tumours. About one in 10 Caucasian women is thought to have this genetic profile.

Ovarian cancer is often termed the silent cancer, as it grows quietly and is often detected only in the final stages. It is the sixth biggest killer of all cancers for Australian women. About 1200 new cases are diagnosed annually with 800 deaths.

Until now, it has been thought the main risk factors included a family history of the disease, having already had breast cancer and starting periods at a young age.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Hotline – 1 (866) 952-1422

Attorney R. Allen Smith, Jr., of The Talc Litigation Group, filed the very first talcum ovarian cancer lawsuit on December 7, 2009. This talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit seeks damages against several talcum powder mining companies, refiners, manufacturers and product distributors for continuing to manufacture, market, and sell a product that has been medically proven to cause cancers such as ovarian cancer. Talc Litigation Group offers a free talcum powder cancer case review and ovarian cancer screenings in all 50 states.

Are There Any Studies on the Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer?

February 23rd, 2010

Q: Is there any recent medical studies that show a link between talcum powder use and an increased risk for ovarian cancer?

A: Yes, here is one led by Dr. Margaret Gates and funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health, found 36-41% increase in ovarian cancer from talc use and advised women to immediately stop using the product.

Ovarian Cancer – Study Finds Talcum Powder Link
Every day, besides our food, we use dozens of different cosmetics, powders, lotions, pastes, soaps, shampoos, etc on our bodies. Yet many of us are not aware, or simply cannot be bothered, of the fact that there are hundreds, even thousands of harmful chemicals in these daily products.
Most of these chemicals have not even been tested for safety of use on humans. And, generally speaking, our bodies are “organic”, and do not like chemicals and substances which are synthetic, artificial or man-made; our bodies are just not adapted to properly dealing with such compounds.
Frequent Use of Talcum Powder Near Private Parts May Cause Ovarian Cancer
According to a latest study conducted at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, women who used talcum powder around their private parts daily have a 40% higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. Even those who only used it once a week experienced a 36% higher risk. Although concerns over the use of talc had previously already been surfaced through other studies, these latest figures obtained suggest that the risks are much higher than thought before.
Details of Study
For this Harvard study, researchers looked at data from two previous studies, the New England Case-Control Study (NECC) and the Nurses Health
Study (NHS), to try and locate a link between the use of talcum powder on the genitals and the risk of contracting ovarian cancer. They also tried to
see how certain genetic factors might affect this risk.
All in all, the cases of over 3,000 women were studied, with 1,385 of them having had ovarian cancer and another 1,802 women not having contracted the disease. Both the previous studies had collated information on talc use by the women, including how frequently they used it and on which areas of the body.
The study was led by Dr Margaret A. Gates and funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.
Findings of the Study
The key finding of the Harvard study was the significantly higher risk – 1.4 times – of getting ovarian cancer for those who used talc daily. Correlation
was also noted between more regular usage of talc with the development of serious and invasive cancer. Note that the findings of this study relate
only to the use of talcum powder near the genitals, and do not apply to use on the rest of the body.
Further findings from the study was that women who have the gene glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but do not have the gene S-transferase
T1 ( GSTT1), had almost three times as high the risk of developing tumors. This genetic combination is believed to be present in about 10% of
Caucasian women. Women who were only lacking the gene GSTT1 also had a higher cancer risk. This higher risk also applied when the study team considered serious, invasive cancer, which is one of the three main types of ovarian cancer.
According to the study team, extensive research had been previously carried out and some studies have found “modest association” between talc use
on the genital area and higher risk of ovarian cancer. And this association has been controversial, because of factors such as “a lack of a clear dose-response with increasing frequency or duration of talc use, the possibility of confounding or other biases, and the uncertain biological mechanism”.
And because the latest study provides an observed dose-response – higher talc use frequency being linked with greater ovarian cancer risk, including
for serious invasive cancer – the research team feels that their findings give further support to the long-held idea that genital exposure to talcum
powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer.
As for the findings on the effects of different genes, the study’s findings suggest that one’s biological response to talcum powder may be affected by genes which are involved in its detoxification pathways.
The study team had hypothesized that, because talc, which is made through crushing, drying, and then milling of a mineral called hydrous magnesium silicate, has similar chemical properties to asbestos, it was possible that the same molecular and genetic pathways could play a part in the body’s ability to cope with these substances. Specific combinations or variations in certain genes would mean that a person was less able to metabolize or detoxify carcinogens – it would then follow that these people should have a higher risk of ovarian cancer with increased talc exposure.
Asbestos is known to cause a deadly form of lung cancer.
Limitations of Study
It is important to note that the said study, which was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, has a few limitations. Firstly, the two studies which it drew data from had different methods of data collection. Also, the participants of the NHS study were also only asked
once on their talc usage, and they might thus not have been classified correctly.
In addition, it is not really possible to be sure if exposure to talc had in fact preceded ovarian cancer diagnosis, i.e. that the use of talcum powder
played a part in the development of the disease.
While some factors, such as age, use of oral contraceptives, body mass index and menopausal status, were taken into account and adjusted for, there are probably also some other important ovarian cancer risk factors which were not accounted for.
Does talcum powder really increase ovarian cancer risk?
Each year, more than 6,000 women in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the United States, more than 20,000 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2004, while more than 14,700 died from the disease that year.
Some risk factors, besides general lifestyle and dietary habits, include family history, being overweight, use of hormone replacement therapy, relatively earlier start of menses, and having already been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Despite the limitations of the Harvard study, when we look at the overall scheme of things, and put its findings alongside the evidence which had been provided by previous studies, it does appear that talc use is linked to ovarian cancer.
For example, laboratory tests had previously already shown that ovarian cells exposed to talc tend to multiply more rapidly, which is something very characteristic of malignancy. But there had been no clear evidence to affirm scientists’ fear that particles could actually move along a woman’s reproductive tract such a distance, from the genitals all the way to the ovaries. However, in 2007, doctors at Harvard Medical School found small powdered particles in the pelvis area of a woman with late-stage ovarian cancer. The woman was 68 years old and had used talcum powder everyday
for the past 30 years or so.
What Next
At the end of a long hard day at work, take a warm, relaxing bath, dry yourself, and then sprinkle on some talcum powder to feel even better. That is probably what some of us do.
However, based on evidence available so far, Gates has advised women to avoid using talcum powder in the genital area until more research has been carried out.
But would that be overreacting? Dr Jodie Moffat of Cancer Research UK reminded us “it is important to remember that very few women who use talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer”. The website of the American Cancer Society echoes this, stating that “only a very small minority of women
who have used talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer”.
About half the people reading this article will never get ovarian cancer, not because they are immune to cancer, but because they do not have ovaries. But it is still a stark reminder of how many common and seemingly harmless everyday items in our lives today are adding to our risk of many diseases.
The cleaner and more natural we can get, the safer we will be.
As far as the use of talcum powder goes, while more conclusive research may still be needed, in the meantime, women will have a decision to make.
Main Sources
Women warned of talcum powder cancer risk (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/health/3091174/Women-warned-of-talcum-powder-cancer-risk.html)
Talcum powder and ovarian cancer (http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/09September/Pages/Talcumpowderrisk.aspx)

According to a latest study conducted at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, “women who used talcum powder around their private parts daily have a 40% higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. Even those who only used it once a week experienced a 36% higher risk. Although concerns over the use of talc had previously already been surfaced through other studies, these latest figures obtained suggest that the risks are much higher than thought before.”

Findings of the Study

Talcum powder use by woman creates a significantly higher risk for developing ovarian cancer – 1.4 times higher. * Note that the findings of this study relate only to the use of talcum powder near the genitals, and do not apply to use on the rest of the body.

According to the study team, extensive research had been previously carried out and some studies have found “modest association” between talc use on the genital area and higher risk of ovarian cancer.

And because the latest study provides an observed dose-response – higher talc use frequency being linked with greater ovarian cancer risk, including for serious invasive cancer – the research team feels that their findings give further support to the long-held idea that genital exposure to talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Call for a free case review with the law firm that filed the very first talcum powder lawsuit. Call 1 (866) 952-1422.

Is Talc Safe For Babies?

February 23rd, 2010

Q: I have been using it on my newborn when I change her diaper. A friend told me this is unsafe. Is this really true?

A: There are more natural talcum powder substitutes such as corn starch. Talc has been linked to ovarian cancer in women who have used talcum powder when changing their baby’s diaper. Many parents are switching to the use of ointments as talcum powder contains many various combinations of zinc stearate, magnesium silicates, as well as other silicates which are finely ground. The size of these particles make it easily inhaled and can reach even the smallest areas of the lung.

There have been numerous reports of babies having life-threatening episodes from inhaling the powder. And in fact, there have been many deaths reported from aspiration of the powder. A good number of these cases occurred during a diaper change when adult supervision is usually very high.

So, clearly talc can cause pneumonia, inflammation (or swelling) of the airways of babies, and even death. But what about cancer? When the link to asbestos and cancer came to light, it was noticed that a lot of the exposure to asbestos was accompanied by other inhalable fibers and dust including talc. However, a specific link to talc exposure and lung cancer has not been established. On the other hand, there has been some interesting research into a possible link of talc to ovarian cancer.

For a number of years now, epidemiologists (scientists who try to establish cause and effect relationships in diseases) have been interested in trying to find some link to the environment and ovarian cancer. Some of their focus has been on talc powder because it is a product that is commonly used in the groin area by women. Several of these studies have shown a possible link between talc powder use and ovarian cancer while other studies have not. One interesting study published in 1996 was done by examining the ovaries of women who had had them removed for reasons other than ovarian cancer. In that study, talc powder was found in all the ovaries including the ones from women did not use talc powder on themselves. This suggests that talc powder could reach the ovaries of women who use talc powder on their babies.

Call for a free case review with the law firm that filed the very first talcum powder lawsuit. Call 1 (866) 952-1422.

Frequent Use of Talcum Powder Near Private Parts May Cause Ovarian Cancer

February 22nd, 2010

(NaturalNews) According to a latest study conducted at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, women who used talcum powder around their private parts daily have a 40% higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. Even those who only used it once a week experienced a 36% higher risk. Although concerns over the use of talc had previously already been surfaced through other studies, these latest figures obtained suggest that the risks are much higher than thought before.
Details of Study

For this Harvard study, researchers looked at data from two previous studies, the New England Case-Control Study (NECC) and the Nurses Health Study (NHS), to try and locate a link between the use of talcum powder on the genitals and the risk of contracting ovarian cancer. They also tried to see how certain genetic factors might affect this risk.

All in all, the cases of over 3,000 women were studied, with 1,385 of them having had ovarian cancer and another 1,802 women not having contracted the disease. Both the previous studies had collated information on talc use by the women, including how frequently they used it and on which areas of the body.

The study was led by Dr Margaret A. Gates and funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

Findings of the Study

The key finding of the Harvard study was the significantly higher risk – 1.4 times – of getting ovarian cancer for those who used talc daily. Correlation was also noted between more regular usage of talc with the development of serious and invasive cancer. Note that the findings of this study relate only to the use of talcum powder near the genitals, and do not apply to use on the rest of the body.

Further findings from the study was that women who have the gene glutathione S-transferase M1, or GSTM1, but do not have the gene S-transferase T1 ( GSTT1), had almost three times as high the risk of developing tumors. This genetic combination is believed to be present in about 10% of Caucasian women. Women who were only lacking the gene GSTT1 also had a higher cancer risk. This higher risk also applied when the study team considered serious, invasive cancer, which is one of the three main types of ovarian cancer.

According to the study team, extensive research had been previously carried out and some studies have found “modest association” between talc use on the genital area and higher risk of ovarian cancer. And this association has been controversial, because of factors such as “a lack of a clear dose-response with increasing frequency or duration of talc use, the possibility of confounding or other biases, and the uncertain biological mechanism”.

And because the latest study provides an observed dose-response – higher talc use frequency being linked with greater ovarian cancer risk, including for serious invasive cancer – the research team feels that their findings give further support to the long-held idea that genital exposure to talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

As for the findings on the effects of different genes, the study’s findings suggest that one’s biological response to talcum powder may be affected by genes which are involved in its detoxification pathways.

The study team had hypothesized that, because talc, which is made through crushing, drying, and then milling of a mineral called hydrous magnesium silicate, has similar chemical properties to asbestos, it was possible that the same molecular and genetic pathways could play a part in the body’s ability to cope with these substances. Specific combinations or variations in certain genes would mean that a person was less able to metabolize or detoxify carcinogens – it would then follow that these people should have a higher risk of ovarian cancer with increased talc exposure.

Asbestos is known to cause a deadly form of lung cancer.

Limitations of Study

It is important to note that the said study, which was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, has a few limitations. Firstly, the two studies which it drew data from had different methods of data collection. Also, the participants of the NHS study were also only asked once on their talc usage, and they might thus not have been classified correctly.

In addition, it is not really possible to be sure if exposure to talc had in fact preceded ovarian cancer diagnosis, i.e. that the use of talcum powder played a part in the development of the disease.

While some factors, such as age, use of oral contraceptives, body mass index and menopausal status, were taken into account and adjusted for, there are probably also some other important ovarian cancer risk factors which were not accounted for.

Does talcum powder really increase ovarian cancer risk?

Each year, more than 6,000 women in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the United States, more than 20,000 women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2004, while more than 14,700 died from the disease that year.

Some risk factors, besides general lifestyle and dietary habits, include family history, being overweight, use of hormone replacement therapy, relatively earlier start of menses, and having already been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Despite the limitations of the Harvard study, when we look at the overall scheme of things, and put its findings alongside the evidence which had been provided by previous studies, it does appear that talc use is linked to ovarian cancer.

For example, laboratory tests had previously already shown that ovarian cells exposed to talc tend to multiply more rapidly, which is something very characteristic of malignancy. But there had been no clear evidence to affirm scientists’ fear that particles could actually move along a woman’s reproductive tract such a distance, from the genitals all the way to the ovaries. However, in 2007, doctors at Harvard Medical School found small powdered particles in the pelvis area of a woman with late-stage ovarian cancer. The woman was 68 years old and had used talcum powder everyday for the past 30 years or so.

What Next

At the end of a long hard day at work, take a warm, relaxing bath, dry yourself, and then sprinkle on some talcum powder to feel even better. That is probably what some of us do.

However, based on evidence available so far, Gates has advised women to avoid using talcum powder in the genital area until more research has been carried out.

But would that be overreacting? Dr Jodie Moffat of Cancer Research UK reminded us “it is important to remember that very few women who use talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer”. The website of the American Cancer Society echoes this, stating that “only a very small minority of women who have used talcum powder will ever develop ovarian cancer”.

About half the people reading this article will never get ovarian cancer, not because they are immune to cancer, but because they do not have ovaries. But it is still a stark reminder of how many common and seemingly harmless everyday items in our lives today are adding to our risk of many diseases. The cleaner and more natural we can get, the safer we will be.

As far as the use of talcum powder goes, while more conclusive research may still be needed, in the meantime, women will have a decision to make.

Ovarian cancer risk noted in talcum powder use near the vagina

February 13th, 2010

Women’s health has several unique issues: problems of menstruation, child bearing, hormonal and other gynaecological diseases. The most worrisome is cancer. Certain cancers are unique to women like cervical cancer, ovarian and uterine cancer. B reast cancer, though it occurs in men also, is mainly seen in women.

Ovarian cancer usually develops in women over 50 years though some kinds develop in younger women. The risk factors are family history, or women who have had breast/uterus/colon cancer in the past. Women who have never been pregnant, who have taken oestrogen for more than 10 years are also at a higher risk. Nowadays genetic testing can be done in high risk families and if the patient tests positive for the BRCA I & II gene (associated with breast cancer), she is at high risk for ovarian and breast cancer. Increased use of fertility drugs, using talcum powder near the vagina and obesity are also risk factors.

The use of oral contraceptive pills, however, reduces the risk of ovarian cancer while the removal of ovaries during hysterectomy prevents later development. Ovarian cancer is very dangerous as it is not easily diagnosed till an advanced stage. The only symptoms may be heaviness and bloating in the stomach, gas, nausea, or diarrhoea. Sometimes irregular vaginal bleeding may be seen.

The diagnosis is made by a pelvic examination, sonography, blood test such as CA 125 and MRI and treatment usually involves a major surgery — to remove the uterus, tubes, ovaries and the surrounding tissue — followed by chemotherapy.

Cancer of the uterus occurs more often in obese, diabetic women after age 40. Women who have suffered from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) when young and had delayed periods for a long time without treatment are more prone. Women who menstruated early and had late menopause, infertility or a past history of breast or ovarian cancer are at a higher risk.

First Sign

Usually, the cancer is preceded by endometrial hyperplasia or thickness of the womb lining, which is non-cancerous. If diagnosis can be made early using sonography, the development can be prevented by use of hormonal medicines or a hysterectomy. However, if not picked up early, hyperplasia may progress to cancer. The symptoms are irregular bleeding, post-menopausal bleeding, pain or lump in lower abdomen or weight loss. The final confirmation is done by an endometrial biopsy or D&C or a hysteroscopy.

The treatment is essentially surgical involving removal of the womb, tubes, ovaries and surrounding tissue. Hormone therapy, radiation and chemotherapy may be required in some cases.

Breast cancer is one of the commonest cancers in women but the cause remains unknown. However about 10 per cent may be due to genetic causes. Women bearing a defective breast cancer associated gene (BRCA I & II) are at an increased risk. Women who start their periods early and have late menopause andlate pregnancy or those who have never had children are also at high risk. Long-term use of HRT may increase the risk.

The importance of regular breast self-examination cannot be over-emphasised. An annual mammography and sonography after the age of 40 will help pick up the problem early and simplify treatment. If there is a suspicious area on mammography, a fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAC) or open biopsy will confirm the diagnosis.

The treatment is usually surgical. In early stages, a lumpectomy with sampling of lymph nodes while saving the breast may be sufficient but in later stages a mastectomy or removal of the breast may be necessary. Often radiation or chemotherapy is necessary after surgery. Hormone-dependent breast cancers often need hormone blocking drugs after surgery.

“As I see it, everyday you do one of two things: build health or produce disease in yourself.” Adelle Davis