ovarian cancer and talcum powder

Post your ovarian cancer questions here.

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by Guest Posts on Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:45 pm

ovarian cancer and talcum powder

My late wife died of ovarian cancer in 2013.

For most of her life she was a very liberal user of Talcum powder (and I mean liberal) and only stopped suddenly some 5/6 years before she died at 70 years of age. I have read that there is a possible connection between the use of this substance and this type of cancer. I would be interested to know if you support this point of view. Sadly, due to an incompetent GP it was diagnosed too late to save her, even though her surgery displayed one of the posters asking women to check for the symptoms of this dreadful disease.

I will be interested to hear from you.

Thank you.

Derek
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Professor Ahmed Ahmed
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by Professor Ahmed Ahmed on Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:20 pm

Re: ovarian cancer and talcum powder

Dear Derek,

I am really sorry to hear about your loss. This must have been dreadful for you.

You are asking me a very difficult question that I am afraid I do not have a definitive answer to! As you say there has been a lot of debate about this point. What I can say is that the evidence that we have with or against comes predominantly from epidemiological studies. These are studies that look for associations between certain risk factors and a particular disease on a population scale. Such studies can be very powerful in showing that certain habits should be avoided to decrease the risk of a particular disease. An example of such studies are ones that reported the association between smoking and lung cancer. A review of four large epidemiological studies was published earlier this year in the Journal "JAMA Oncology" that showed there was no significant association between Talc powder use and ovarian cancer. However, the authors also say that it may have not been possible to detect small effects. This NHS website gives some more information about the study: <https://www.nhs.uk/news/cancer/no-evide ... iew-finds/>. I hope this helps.
Professor Ahmed Ahmed
Professor of Gynaecological Oncology

https://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/c ... hmed-ahmed

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