Studies on Talc and Ovarian Cancer
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Studies on Talc and Ovarian Cancer
The Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) is the largest women’s health study ever conducted. This U.S. government-funded cohort study has looked into risk factors for major chronic diseases in women since 1976.

The Nurses' Health Study

Showed no overall increase

in the risk of ovarian cancer
24
year study
of
78,630
Women
31,789
used talc
The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was established by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in 1991 to study the health of postmenopausal women. Among the many issues this cohort study investigated were the link between hormone therapy and breast cancer, and the effects of diet on cancer and heart disease.

The Women’s Health Initiative Study

Showed no overall increase

in the risk of ovarian cancer
12
year study
of
61,576
women
32,219
used talc
The Sister Study, conducted from 2003-2009 with the support of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences was a landmark research effort to find the causes of breast cancer.

The Sister Study

Showed no overall increase

in the risk of ovarian cancer
6
year study
of
41,654
women
5,735
used talc

Other Studies

A statistical association between ovarian cancer and powder users is not found in large, prospective studies, although some, but not all, case-control studies do indicate a slight statistical association. Case-control studies are studies where groups of people with a history of a specific disease are asked questions about different possible risk factors. These risk factors can include use of certain products in their past. One potential reason that some have found slight statistical associations is the potential for an overestimation of the true association due to “recall bias.” Recall bias is when people with a disease are more likely to overestimate their exposure to these risk factors than people without that disease. In these studies, women who know they have ovarian cancer will try hard to remember anything that might be important to explain why they got this terrible disease, which can artificially make it appear that women with cancer used more talcum powder.8

Studies of Talc and Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, of which there are several types. Asbestos exposure has been linked to certain types of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that is found in the environment, and small quantities of its fibers are all around us – in the air we breathe, in drinking water, soil and some foods.

There are no sound scientific studies indicating that inhalation of cosmetic talc causes mesothelioma.
There have been several studies of thousands of people who were exposed to talc on a daily basis—through their work mining and milling talc powder. These studies demonstrate that exposure to high levels of talc does not increase a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma.

Studies of Miners & Millers

No increased risk of mesothelioma
2,149
miners and millers exposed to talc daily
studied over
40
years

Talc is used to reduce fluid accumulation in lungs

A medical procedure called pleurodesis helps lungs stick to the chest wall to keep collapsed lungs inflated or prevent fluid from accumulating around the lung.

In some cases, talc is injected directly into the lining of the lungs to prevent fluid accumulation. Large-scale reports of patients show that out of hundreds of patients who had this procedure done over dozens of years, there have been no cases of mesothelioma.

Found

0

cases of mesothelioma
more than
300
patients
studied over
14-40
years