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Talcum Powder May Cause Ovarian Cancer

Irrespective of weather or season, talcum powder is in use more than ever. There are many ways of using talcum powder as baby powder, facial powder, for fragrance and keeping dry.

There is an alarming fact attached to the use of talcum powder. Studies show that use of talcum powder on female genitals might cause ovarian cancer.

Use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer

Regular excessive use of talcum powder in the delicate areas of women with aim of maintaining hygiene is leaving adverse effects in long term. A number of medical evidences claim that talcum powder use in women increases risk of ovarian cancer.

The ovarian cancer women patients are specially asked about their habit of relying too much on talcum powder for any reason including hygiene.

Talcum powder has been part of bathrooms and nurseries all across the world for generations. For almost same time, it has been susceptible to cause ovarian cancer as well. The first link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer was cited in 1970s. 

Studies behind the notion

In the year 1971, for the first time scientists suggested a connection between use of talcum powder on female genitals and risk of ovarian cancer. The belief was that the talc particles get into the reproductive tract and reaches to uterus travelling through the cervix. Later they entered into ovaries through the fallopian tubes.

The findings of the research were published in the Lancet Journal stating that most of the ovarian tumors contained talc particles.

Another study published in 1982 suggested same connection where the subject women suffered ovarian cancer and used talcum powder on their genitals.

What talcum powder is prepared with?

The primary substance in the talcum powder is talc, a mineral containing magnesium and silicon. These two are mined in rock form. They are crushed, dried and a fine powder is prepared. Talcum powder works towards slippery surface, reduced friction, absorption of moisture and soft skin.

The attractive and soothing properties of talcum powder made it popular among industries and then people. The personal care industry promoted the use of talcum powder with variants available in form of baby powders, adult body powders, foot powders and intimate hygiene products.

Women became target with alluring promise of getting rid of vaginal moisture and unpleasant odor. Thus women started dusting talcum powder in their private parts, underwear and sanitary pads for long time moisture free feel.

Other types of cancer risk

With talc as the primary substance, talcum powder has been linked with other types of cancer as well. Before going any further, a distinction is to be made between two types of talc. The first one contains asbestos while the second type is free of asbestos.

The talc which contains asbestos generally considered to be causing cancer when inhaled. This type of talc is out of the market in modern time. The asbestos-free talc is still under-research for more clear connection with cancer.

Research has been conducted to check out the effect of talcum powder in formation of tumors or causing other severe health issues. Animals showed a strong relation but same result can’t be applied on human beings. And thus further specific studies are needed to be done.

Lung cancer

As while dusting the talcum powder, a few particles get into the lungs through inhaling, it is considered that it might cause lung cancer. But out of a number of studies conducted, a few supported the thought while the other varied in the outcome. Thus a simple conclusion could not be made.

Other cancers

Talcum powder use has not been associated with any other types of cancer thought not extensive studies ever conducted to know the correct effect. A study suggested that sprinkling of talcum powder on genital may increase risk of endometrial (uterine) cancer in women. But due to insufficient evidence the thought did not get popularity.

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