Since the 1970s, studies have shown a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. But for decades, women have been using talcum powder for hygienic purposes around their vaginal area. Most women have no idea that talc can travel through the vagina to the ovaries. More and more lawsuits against talcum powder products have been brought to the attention of the public, causing companies to pay for not properly warning consumers about the dangers of their product.
How Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
When talcum powder is applied to the vaginal area, it can travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes, reaching the ovaries. There, the talc can cause inflammation and take years to dissolve, and doctors have found particles of talc inside cancerous ovarian tissues. When first produced, talc used to contain asbestos—a substance now banned from consumer products. Currently, more studies are taking place to test the safety of products that are talc-based.
If you have been using talc-based products for feminine hygiene over an extended period of time, you should talk to your doctor about the risks—especially for ovarian cancer. There are alternatives to talcum powder that you can use.
A Case Against Johnson & Johnson
Complaints against Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower began in 1971. And after a study in 1982 showed a 92 percent increase in ovarian cancer from talc-based products, Johnson & Johnson was advised to put warning labels on its products but did not do so.
In 2013, Jacqueline Fox from Birmingham, Alabama received an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Fox claims that because she used these two products for more than 35 years, products that are both talc-based and used for feminine hygiene, she suffers from ovarian cancer.
In 2015, Jacqueline Fox died, just months before winning her $72 million case against Johnson & Johnson. Fox’s lawyers state that the company knew the risks associated with their products but failed to make women aware of them.
Another Case Against Johnson & Johnson
In a more recent case against the company in February 2016, Gloria Ristesund from Missouri claimed that after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products around the vaginal area for decades, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She underwent a hysterectomy and other surgeries, and her cancer is now in remission.
In this particular case, Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a U.S. jury to pay $55 million to Ristesund, but the company plans to appeal. This is just one of 1,200 lawsuits Johnson & Johnson faces for not properly warning customers of the risks associated with the talc-based products.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
It’s not always easy for a doctor to diagnose ovarian cancer. Symptoms of this condition can present like symptoms of other illnesses; consequently, women are often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. Here are some symptoms of ovarian cancer that are often missed:
- Pain around the pelvic region
- Weight loss
- Abdominal swelling/bloating
- Bowel habit changes, like constipation and IBS
- Frequent need to urinate
We Can Help
If you’ve been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and suspect talc-based products are the cause, contact the Tapella & Eberspacher Law Firm. Like Jacqueline Fox and Gloria Ristesund, you may be eligible for compensation. Companies like Johnson & Johnson should be held accountable if they’ve knowingly withheld important health information from the public. Visit our website, or call our office to get a free consultation.