Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawyer
If you've received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and have used baby powder you may be entitled to compensation. The talcum powder ovarian cancer lawyers of Bisnar Chase are actively taking these cases nationwide. We've assembled a team of trial lawyers to protect those who've been injured from this dangerous product from Johnson & Johnson. Call 1-800-561-4887 for a free consultation.
Talcum Powder, more frequently referred to as baby powder, has recently come under fire for increasing the risk of ovarian cancer for women who use it regularly for feminine hygiene. Talcum powder and its inherent risks have been studied since 1982, at which point a link was suggested between ovarian cancer and genital talcum powder use. This research however was widely ignored by Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the primary manufacturer of baby powder product made with talc. As of 2016, Johnson & Johnson as been subject to 2 verdicts of $72 million and $55 million for not warning its consumers about the dangers of ovarian cancer when using their products. Bisnar Chase are talcum powder attorneys who have studied these cases and the effects of talcum powder extensively in order to represent victims who have developed ovarian cancer as a result of their baby powder use.
Talcum Powder Overview
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum Powder is a crushed form of Talc - a magnesium silicate that happens to be the softest known mineral. As such it has an innate ability to absorb moisture and oils. These properties make it useful as baby powder to prevent diaper rash or for deodorizing. In 2011, the United States produced about 615,000 metric tons of talc. The majority of this is used in plastics and ceramic applications, but 7% was used to make baby powder and other cosmetics.
In its natural state talc contains asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. However, in 1973, federal law has prohibited the use of asbestos in consumer product containing talc. Talcum powder is now processed to ensure that there is no asbestos in the product.
Talc can be found in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Johnson & Johnson Shower to Shower Body Powder, as well as in other cosmetics and personal care products.
How is Talcum Powder Used?
Baby Powder is primarily used to prevent diaper rash by sprinkling the powder into the diaper. This keeps the baby's bottom dry and reduces friction between the diaper and the skin, which in turn reduces the likelyhood of a rash.
Talcum Powder has commonly been used by adult women to dust their genitals or their sanitary napkins with talcum powder to keep the area moisture and odor-free. This continued usage of talcum powder on the genitals is what is believed to have caused ovarian cancer in thousands of women today.
How does Talcum Powder Increase the Risk of Cancer?
Existing research is conflicted on the correlation between talcum powder usage and ovarian cancer risk, but studies have confirmed that talcum powder particles were found in a large number of ovarian tumors. The general consensus is that talcum powder, when regularly applied, can travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes into the ovaries.
Talc is often used in surgical efforts to prevent pneumonia, a condition where the lungs uncouple themselves from the chest wall. The talc has a inflammatory effect which causes the lungs to adhere to the chest wall. It is thought that this inflammatory effect also takes place within the ovaries after regular usage, inflaming the ovaries and opening them up to increased ovarian cancer risk. For a long time the scientific community has observed that long-term inflammation can contribute to cancer, as discussed in this Yale Department of Immunobiology Study. Experts believe that long-term inflammation in the ovaries can damage DNA, and that if any low-risk cancerous cells were to appear, the inflamed immune system would not be as effective at preventing the growth of these cells, thereby increasing the risk of cancerous growth.
What if I Use Talcum Powder?
Ovarian cancer will affect approximately 1 in 70 women in their lifetimes, but preliminary studies show that talcum powder is only likely to increase your chances of getting cancer if you consistently use the powder for multiple years. If you use talcum powder consistently, we recommend switching to a corn-starch based powder, which has no disadvantages over the talc. It may also be wise to keep an eye out for signs of ovarian cancer.
What is Ovarian Cancer?
Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are found to have abnormal cells growing out-of-control in the ovaries. There are several types of ovarian cancer.
Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
Most tumors in the ovaries are considered to be epithelial. This type of cancer starts to grow in the surface layer tissue, or the epithelium, of the ovaries. This type of cancer makes up 90% of the ovarian cancer cases, but many of these cases end up being benign and pose no risk to the patient. Epithelial tumors can be further split into the following sub-categories:
This is the most common and the most dangerous form of epithelial ovarian cancer, due to spreading quickly and usually becoming symptomatic after becoming a high stage tumor. This results in the tumor not being discovered until it is often too late.
This is the second most common type of epithelial ovarian cancer and is believed to come about due to endometriosis. It is usually detected at low stages, but doesn't necessarily respond as well to chemotherapy with current methods.
The third most common, also believed to result from endometriosis. When patients are diagnosed at a low stage, they only require surgery to remove tumors and no additional treatment after that.
This is an uncommon type of carcinoma relatively unresponsive to chemotherapy.
A small percentage of epithelial tumors are unable to be classified due to immature development of the cells.
Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer
These tumors grow in the cells that produce the eggs within the ovaries. Unlike epithelial cancer, which occurs most frequently in women over 40, germ cell tumors often occur in teenagers and women in their 20s. Most of these patients can be cured and still maintain fertility if the tumor is found early enough.
Stromal tumors in the ovaries affect the soft connective tissue that hold the ovaries together. These can either be classified as granulosa tumors or Sertoli Leydig tumors. These tumors are rare and are usually considered to be low grade cancers.
What are the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?
The symptoms are vague and not specific to ovarian cancer, but will worsen over time as the cancer grows. Be sure to see a doctor if you continue to experience these symptoms:
- Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
- Back Pain
- Chronic Fatigue
- Difficulty Eating
- Frequent Urination
- Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Even early stage cancer can reveal itself with these symptoms constantly showing themselves. If you seek a gynecologic evaluation quickly for a pelvic and rectovaginal exam, you may be able to detect cancer at an early stage and improve the likelihood of a good outcome.
Who is At Risk?
90% of women who get ovarian cancer are older than 40, but there are certain factors that correlate more highly with ovarian cancer incidences. If any of these situations apply to you, it does not mean that you will get ovarian cancer, but you may want to speak to your doctor about the risk.
- Older than 40
- Other Ovarian or Breast Cancer in the Family
- Never Given Birth
- Difficulty Getting Pregnant
- Taken Hormone Replacement Therapy
- History of Endometriosis
- Posses BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations (Mostly found in people of Eastern European Jewish descent)
Johnson & Johnson Cancer Lawsuits
$72 Million for Jacqueline Fox
Jackie Fox passed away from ovarian cancer in October 2015, but not before filing a case against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn her about the documented dangers of using talcum powder. After her death her son, Marvin Salter, took over as plaintiff for the three-week trial in February 2016. The jury awarded Fox $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages, although it is expected that an appeal will reduce this punitive amount considerably.
Juries were shown an internal document from Johnson & Johnson where a medical consultant alleged that use of talcum powder came with a higher risk of ovarian cancer, and likened it to the link between cigarettes and cancer. The fact that Johnson & Johnson was warned about the potential dangers of talc and did not put a warning on the bottle or do anything else to take care of their consumers' health was what swayed at least one of the members of the jury. A spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson said that there are decades of science proving that talc usage is safe. Unfortunately, given the existence of multiple conflicting studies, it seems as if the company picked and chose what science it wanted to believe and used that as justification for not warning consumers.
$55 Million for Gloria Ristesund
Gloria Ristesund was also a frequent user of Johnson & Johnson brand talcum powder from 1973 to 2011, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in august 2011. As a result of her cancer she had to have a hysterectomy and other surgeries. Fortunately her cancer is now in remission, but the damage to her body has already been done. Gloria filed a lawsuit which was closed early May 2016 when the judge ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million, $5 million in actual damages and $50 million in punitive damages.
There are now more than 1200 other lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for the same reason - that despite the fact that Johnson & Johnson was given fair warning from multiple studies that concluded a link between talcum powder use in the genitals and ovarian cancer, they did not replace the talcum powder with corn starch in their baby powder product, or even place a warning on the bottle that alerted its users to the danger.
List of Scientific Studies
Starting in 1971, numerous scientific studies have been performed to determine if talcum powder use increased the likelihood of ovarian cancer. We curated a list of these studies and descriptions of their processes, and 15 out of the 20 studies that were performed found an association between genital talcum powder use and an increase in ovarian cancer. You can read the summarized descriptions and results of the talcum / baby powder studies here, as well as study takeaways such as other risk factors of ovarian cancer that were discovered from these studies.
|#||Study Name||Association Found?|
|1.||Talc and Carcinoma of the Ovary and Cervix||Yes|
|2.||Ovarian Cancer and Talc: A Case-Control Study||Yes|
|3.||A Case-Control Study of Borderline Ovarian Tumors: The Influence of Perineal Exposure to Talc||Yes|
|4.||Personal and Environmental Characteristics Related to Epithelial Ovarian Cancer||No|
|5.||Risk Factors for Ovarian Cancer: A Case-Control Study||Yes|
|6.||Risk Factors for Epithelial Ovarian Cancer in Beijing, China||Yes|
|7.||Reproductive and Other Factors and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: An Australian Case-Control Study. Survey of Women's Health Study Group.||Yes|
|8.||Perineal Talc Exposure and Risk of Ovarian Carcinoma||Yes|
|9.||Genital Talc Exposure and Risk of Ovarian Cancer||Yes|
|10.||Perineal Talc Exposure and Subsequent Epithelial Ovarian Cancer: A Case-Control Study||No|
|11.||Prospective Study of Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer||No|
|12.||Factors Related to Inflammation of the Ovarian Epithelium and Risk of Ovarian Cancer||Yes|
|13.||Perineal Talc Exposure and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Risk in the Central Valley of California||Yes|
|14.||Talcum Powder, Chronic Pelvic Inflammation and NSAIDs in Relation to Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer||Yes|
|15.||Talc Use, Variants of the GSTM1, GSTT1, and NAT2 Genes, and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer||Yes|
|16.||Markers of Inflammation and Risk of Ovarian Cancer in Los Angeles County||Yes|
|17.||Genital Powder Exposure and the Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer||No|
|18.||Genital Powder Use and Risk of Ovarian Cancer: A Pooled Analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 Controls||Yes|
|19.||Perineal Powder Use and Risk of Ovarian Cancer||No|
|20.||The Association Between Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer||Yes|
Do You Have A Case?
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have frequently used talcum powder products for feminine hygiene, it is important that you contact an experienced talcum powder attorney to explore your options. The value or worth of your case will depend on your diagnosis and treatment as well as the economic and non-economic damages you have sustained as a result.
Affected victims may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of surgery, rehabilitative treatment, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Those who have lost a loved one because of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder may also seek compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
The talcum powder attorneys at Bisnar Chase are committed and dedicated to assisting individuals who have been injured by defective products or families that have lost loved ones to dangerous products. We have the resources it takes to fight for our clients, help them receive maximum compensation for their losses and hold manufacturers accountable for their negligence. We don't charge any fees or costs until we get you compensated. Contact us at 1-800-561-4887 for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.