Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women. It is often referred to as the silent killer because it only produces symptoms in its later stages, thus making survival rates very low.
So far, several risk factors have been identified as possible causes of ovarian cancer and these include age (the risk of ovarian cancer drastically increases in menopausal women), family history, hormone replacement therapy, endometriosis etc.
However, according to recent research conducted by doctors from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, regular use of talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer by 25%. The researchers analyzed data from eight different studies including 8,525 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer who had regularly used talcum powder as opposed to 9,800 women who didn’t get cancer. The study results, published in the Cancer Research Prevention magazine, reveal that regular use of talcum body powder after shower increases the risk of ovarian cancer by one fourth owing to the fact that the talcum particles are easily absorbed by the skin.
The study also found that over 40% of women use talcum body powder as part of their regular hygiene routine. However, the researchers point out that the results of the study only refer to using talcum powder in the genital area as opposed to the rest of the body.
Why is talcum powder dangerous?
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Talk powder effectively absorbs moisture keeping your skin dry and less prone to friction and rashes. It is commonly used in cosmetic products including baby powder and talcum body and facial powders, as well as many other consumer products.
However, some talc contains asbestos in its natural form, and asbestos has already been identified as a possible cause of lung cancers when inhaled. It’s estimated that one talc particle can remain in the lungs for up to 8 years. The same happens when talcum powder is applied in the genital area. The tiny particles can travel through the female genitals and remain in the body for years.