There’s no hard and fast evidence to suggest talcum powder causes cancer, but the American Cancer Society has said there have been studies of cases that suggest that there is some form of a link.
It was previously suggested that talc could cause ovarian cancer if particles travel through the uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovaries – but the findings are few and far between. ‘
Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovary. Findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase,’ the American Cancer Society said in 2017.
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Many case-control studies have found a small increase in risk. But these types of studies can be biassed because they often rely on a person’s memory of talc use many years earlier.
Two prospective cohort studies, which would not have the same type of potential bias, have not found an increased risk.’ They added that any increased risk of ovarian cancer from using talc would be likely to be small.
Cancer Research has also commented on the alleged link. saying any risk of ovarian cancer from using talcum powder is likely to be small. ‘Cosmetic body and talcum powders often contain a mineral compound called talc,’ Cancer Research explains on its website.
Several studies have looked at talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. While on the whole studies have seen a modest increase in the risk of ovarian cancer in women who use talc on their genitals, the evidence isn’t completely clear. ‘Scientists are trying to see if there is a real link, but for now, we can’t be sure whether or not talc itself could cause ovarian cancer. However, even if there is a risk it is likely to be fairly small.