According to the National Cancer Institute, the number of new cases of ovarian cancer are 11.9 per 100,000 women per year with, an incidence rate that translates to a probability that approximately 1.3 percent of women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer at some point during their lifetime. In raw numbers, this translates to approximately 195,767 women living with ovarian cancer in the United States. When compared to other cancers affecting women, ovarian cancer represents a small fraction of total cases. Despite its rank as a less frequently occurring cancer among women, its impact on the population cannot be overlooked due to the fact many cases are preventable.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
Like other cancers, individuals suffering from the disease usually do not suffer an easily identifiable telltale symptom. The lack of early onset and easily identified symptoms creates problems for early diagnosis. Medical evidence indicates that the onset of ovarian cancer may include symptoms such as:
- Weight loss
- Abdominal bloating, swelling or an abnormal full feeling in the gut.
- Pelvic discomfort
- Frequent urination
Types of Ovarian Cancer
There are more than 30 different types of ovarian cancer, falling under three broad categories according to the type of cells affected.
- Common Epithelial Tumors: Originate from cells that cover the outer surface of the ovary, representing the most common type of ovarian tumors.
- Germ Cell Tumors: Originate in the cells that produce the eggs (ova). Most germ cell tumors are benign (non-cancerous).
- Stromal Tumors: Involve the structural tissue cells that hold the ovary together and produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer
Although the precise cause of all types of ovarian cancer is not known, research indicates that increased risk of ovarian cancer arises from inherited gene mutations and environmental factors. About 5% to 10% of cases of ovarian cancer arise from inherited gene mutations. The vast majority of other cases arise from environmental and behavioral factors that are linked to an increased risk of cancer. Some of these factors include:
- Age: Ovarian cancer is more prevalent in post-menopausal women with half of all cases being found in women 63 years of age or older.
- Obesity: Obese women (BMI over 30) have a higher risk for developing ovarian cancer.
- Fertility Drugs: Some research indicates that using the fertility drug Clomid (clomiphene citrate) for longer than one year may increase the risk for developing ovarian tumors.
- Androgens: Women who use androgens or male hormones have an increased risk for ovarian cancer.
- Estrogen Therapy and Hormone Therapy: Recent studies suggest women using estrogens after menopause have an increased risk for developing ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder Linked To Ovarian Cancer
Talc, the main ingredient in talcum powder or baby powder, as it is commonly known, is a mineral composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen. Historically talc was associated with a cancer risk for individuals who were exposed to airborne talc. However, as time progressed, studies began to uncover possible links between perineal use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer risk.
In a study published in Epidemiology, researchers studied 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 similar women without ovarian cancer about their talcum powder use. The women who routinely applied talcum powder to their genital areas, sanitary napkins, tampons and underwear had a 33 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer. The study noted, “Subtypes of ovarian cancer more likely to be associated with talc included invasive serous and endometrioid tumors and borderline serous and mucinous tumors.”
In addition to medical evidence linking talc with ovarian cancer, an international public health agency has also taken note of the risk. For example, the World Health Organization affiliated, International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified talc applied to the genitals as “possibly carcinogenic”. Despite evidence, connecting the use of talc on the genital areas the Centers for Disease Control has not published any guidance or warnings on the topic.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
Courts have also taken note of the risks and injuries to talc users, recently awarding damages to injured parties. In February 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer linked to the longtime use of talc-containing products made by Johnson & Johnson for feminine hygiene. At trial, the plaintiff introduced as evidence an internal memo from Johnson & Johnson stating that denying the link between hygienic talc use and ovarian cancer was similar to denying the link between smoking cigarettes and cancer.
The plaintiff was the class representative for more than 1,200 women suing Johnson & Johnson for talcum powder related cancer. The jury found these products contributed to the ovarian cancer that killed the plaintiff. The verdict was for $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Recently, Johnson & Johnson suffered a second defeat due to injuries caused by talcum powder. A jury in St. Louis awarded $55 million in damages to a plaintiff, who used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for more than 35 years. The plaintiff was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.
Hiring a Talcum Powder Lawyer
Trial juries are on your side. Call today for help standing up to large corporations like Johnson & Johnson and fight for the payment of your medical bills, suffering, time off work, and all other related damages. Talcum powder cases are complex legal matters that must be filed within a certain time to preserve your ability to seek recovery for your losses. It is necessary that your lawyer for your talcum powder claim obtain the appropriate medical records for an immediate review to ensure you qualify for a claim.
We are here to help. We pride ourselves on aggressively fighting to make sure you receive reimbursement for your talcum powder related harms and losses. For more information on your talcum powder lawsuit, contact personal injury lawyer Chris Dixon by calling (314) 409-7060, or Toll-Free at 855-55-BAD-DRUG. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case. There is never a fee unless we win.