Talc Powder Injury Risks

Talc-Containing Baby & Body Powder – Ovarian Cancer

We are currently investigating talcum powder lawsuits by evaluating potential cases where women, with a history of using talc-containing Johnson’s® Baby Powder and Shower to Shower® Body Powder on their genitals, were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Scientific studies and the World Health Organization have identified an association between long-term genital use of talcum powder and cancer. In June 2013, Cancer Prevention Research published a study that concluded women with a history of using talc-containing powder in their genital areas have a 20 to 30 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. Presented with scientific studies, expert testimony, and factual evidence, a jury in St. Louis found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers about the risk of ovarian cancer associated with the genital-area use of its talc-based powders. Internal company documents disclosed during the trial indicate that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the studies and attempted to discredit them. The jury awarded $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who succumbed to ovarian cancer and had a history of using Johnson’s® Baby Powder and Shower to Shower® Body Powder.

The Link Between Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer

The earliest scientific paper to describe a potential link between talc and ovarian cancer appeared in 1971. Chronicled were pathology examinations of tissue samples from 10 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The scientists found talc in each of the tissue samples, an indication that each woman’s talc-containing powder had migrated from her external genitalia to her internal organs. Eleven years later, an epidemiological study conducted by Dr. Daniel Cramer of Boston’s Brigham & Women’s Hospital demonstrated a statistical association between a history of genital talc-containing powder use and ovarian cancer.

Results of study show 33% increase in risk of ovarian cancer An article about Dr. Cramer’s study appeared in the August 12, 1982 edition of The New York Times. The study examined the health history and genital talc use of 215 women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer and compared them to women who did not use talc. The results indicated an association between the genital use of talc and ovarian cancer. Over the ensuing years, no fewer than 15 studies have demonstrated that long-term, frequent, genital application of talc-containing powder by women posed a 33% increase in the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Though some studies have suggested no link between the use of baby powder and ovarian cancer, those studies have been criticized for not taking into account both duration and frequency of talc use which is the only true measure of a woman’s exposure to talc.

Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer

During the formal “discovery” process in recent litigation involving Johnson & Johnson, documents have come to light that reveal company concerns over asbestos-contaminated talc date back several decades and that the company waged a fierce campaign to suppress data, test results, scientific papers and other information that talc in its Baby Powder® contained asbestos. That Johnson & Johnsons Baby Powder® and Shower to Shower® body powder, as well as other brands of talc-containing powders may have been contaminated with asbestos, has re-focused much of the nationwide litigation. Though most asbestos litigation and claims focus on work, military and industrial-related exposure to asbestos and asbestos-containing products as causing mesothelioma, ever-increasing recent litigation is now focusing on the link between asbestos, talc and ovarian cancer.

IRAC ‘s Monograph 100C (2012) examines the connection between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer. However, according to IRAC:

“The published literature examining the association between asbestos exposure and cancer of the ovaries is relatively sparse, because the workforce occupationally exposed to asbestos to asbestos in such occupations as mining, milling shipyard work, construction and asbestos insulation work has been predominantly male. An examination between asbestos and ovarian cancer was not undertaken by the IOM (2006).”

Now attempting to address that gap in knowledge, the Working Group (of scientists and doctors) that produced IARC’s Monograph 100C reviewed 11 cohort studies and 1 case control study. The Monograph states as follows:

“The Working Group noted that a causal association between exposure to asbestos and cancer of the ovary was clearly established, based on five strongly positive cohort mortality studies of women with heavy occupational exposure to asbestos (Acheson et al., 1982; Wignall & Fox, 1982; Germani et al., 1999; Berry et al., 2000; Magnani et al., 2008). The conclusion received additional support from studies showing that women and girls with environmental, but not occupational exposure to asbestos (Ferrante et al., 2007; Reid et al., 2008, 2009) had positive, though non-significant, increases in both ovarian cancer incidence and mortality.”

The Monograph continues:

“The conclusion of the Working Group received modest support from the findings of 256 Asbestos non-significant associations between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer in two case–control studies (Vasama-Neuvonen et al., 1999; Langseth & Kjærheim, 2004). And lastly, the finding is consistent with laboratory studies documenting that asbestos can accumulate in the ovaries of women with household exposure to asbestos (Heller et al., 1996) or with occupational exposure to asbestos (Langseth et al., 2007).”

Focusing on both the factual and scientific links between exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc powders and the development of ovarian cancer, the litigation is evolving and being joined by thousands of women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

More About Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian Cancer and Its Subtypes

“Ovarian cancer” is a generic term that includes various subtypes that are identified and distinguishable by their different characteristics (expressions) and their location. Most ovarian cancer is found in the epithelium, which is the layer of tissue that surrounds (encapsulates) the ovary. Approximately 90% of all ovarian cancers are found in the epithelium. There are various subtypes of epithelial ovarian cancers including serous cell and endometrioid (endometrial).

Another subtype is peritoneal ovarian cancer. A small percentage (~10%) of ovarian cancer cases originate in the peritoneum which is bodily tissue that is separate and distinct from the ovaries. The peritoneum is a membrane that surrounds, protects, and helps support the abdominal organs including all of the reproductive organs.

Epithelial Ovarian Cancers

The most common types of ovarian cancer are the epithelial cancers, all of which are found in the epithelium — the layer of tissue that surrounds (encapsulates) the ovary. Within this group are the following subtypes (all of which are considered epithelial ovarian cancers):

Serous cell epithelial ovarian cancer
This is the most common subtype of all epithelial ovarian cancer, accounting for approximately 60% of newly diagnosed cases of ovarian cancer. When diagnosed, serous cell epithelial ovarian cancer is commonly classified as either low-grade or high-grade depending upon the nuclei and mitotic characteristics of the cells.
Endometrioid (endometrial) ovarian cancer
This subtype is identified by its relationship to the endometrium, which is the membrane that is the interior lining of the uterus. Endometrioid (endometrial) ovarian cancer can often develop in conjunction with other cancers, diseases, or abnormalities affecting the endometrium such as endometriosis.
Mucinous, Clear Cell, and Unclassified/Undifferentiated
These three are less common (rare) subtypes of ovarian cancer. Though distinguishable for diagnostic purposes, the prescribed treatment for each is similar.

Peritoneal Ovarian Cancers

Peritoneal ovarian cancer originates outside of the ovaries, in one or more areas of the peritoneum tissue. It can spread to other locations in the abdomen including, in some cases, the ovaries. The peritoneum is a membrane that surrounds, protects, and helps support the abdominal organs including, for women, the uterus and all of the other female reproductive organs. The peritoneum consists of epithelial cells and, in this way, is similar to the epithelium tissue that encapsulates the ovaries. Because of this, treatment of epithelial and peritoneal cancers is often similar. However, peritoneal cancer can be confined to the peritoneum and not affect the ovaries. It can develop in women who have had their ovaries removed. So-called “primary” peritoneal cancer, it can occur anywhere in the peritoneum and not implicate the ovaries.

Peritoneal ovarian cancer generally means that cancer cells are present in both the peritoneum and one or both ovaries. The serous cell lining (outer surface) of the ovaries and the serous cell composition of the peritoneum “communicate” with each other and, in this way, cancer cells can migrate, through shedding or other processes, between the two. When cancer cells are present in both the ovary(ies) and the peritoneum, the diagnosis is peritoneal ovarian cancer.

Staging of Ovarian Cancers

Once ovarian cancer is diagnosed (serous cell, endometrioid (endometrial), peritoneal, etc), it is then “staged” to understand its severity and potential treatment options. A common ovarian cancer staging protocol is as follows:

Stage I — Growth of the cancer is limited to the ovary or ovaries.

Stage IA — Growth is limited to one ovary and the tumor is confined to the inside of the ovary. There is no cancer on the outer surface of the ovary. There are no ascites present containing malignant cells. The capsule is intact.

Stage IB — Growth is limited to both ovaries without any tumor on their outer surfaces. There are no ascites present containing malignant cells. The capsule is intact.

Stage IC — The tumor is classified as either Stage IA or IB and one or more of the following are present: (1) tumor is present on the outer surface of one or both ovaries; (2) the capsule has ruptured; and (3) there are ascites containing malignant cells or with positive peritoneal washings.

Stage II — Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries with pelvic extension.

Stage IIA — The cancer has extended to and/or involves the uterus or the fallopian tubes, or both.

Stage IIB — The cancer has extended to other pelvic organs.

Stage IIC — The tumor is classified as either Stage IIA or IIB and one or more of the following are present: (1) tumor is present on the outer surface of one or both ovaries; (2) the capsule has ruptured; and (3) there are ascites containing malignant cells or with positive peritoneal washings.

Stage III — Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries, and one or both of the following are present: (1) the cancer has spread beyond the pelvis to the lining of the abdomen; and (2) the cancer has spread to lymph nodes. The tumor is limited to the true pelvis but with histologically proven malignant extension to the small bowel or omentum.

Stage IIIA — During the staging operation, the practitioner can see cancer involving one or both of the ovaries, but no cancer is grossly visible in the abdomen and it has not spread to lymph nodes. However, when biopsies are checked under a microscope, very small deposits of cancer are found in the abdominal peritoneal surfaces.

Stage IIIB — The tumor is in one or both ovaries, and deposits of cancer are present in the abdomen that are large enough for the surgeon to see but not exceeding 2 cm in diameter. The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes.

Stage IIIC — The tumor is in one or both ovaries, and one or both of the following is present: (1) the cancer has spread to lymph nodes; and/or (2) the deposits of cancer exceed 2 cm in diameter and are found in the abdomen.

Stage IV — This is the most advanced stage of ovarian cancer. Growth of the cancer involves one or both ovaries and distant metastases (spread of the cancer to organs located outside of the peritoneal cavity) have occurred. Finding ovarian cancer cells in pleural fluid (from the cavity which surrounds the lungs) is also evidence of stage IV disease.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baby Powder and Cancer and Talc Powder Lawsuits

Q: What should I do if I have concerns about talc and cancer, specifically my use of Johnson’s® Baby Powder and Shower to Shower® Body Powder?
A: You should contact your doctor if you have not already done so. You and your doctor can discuss your concerns and options.
Q: If I have ovarian cancer and have used Johnson’s® Baby Powder and Shower to Shower® Body Powder, what are my legal options — can I file a talcum powder lawsuit?
A: If there is a provable link between use of these products and your cancer, your legal options may include the right to be compensated for your injuries, as well as for the expense, mental anguish, and inconvenience you incur as a result of any medical and rehabilitation treatment by filing a talc lawsuit.
Q: What are the legal fees?
A: There are no legal fees unless you receive compensation in the form of a talcum powder settlement or award. This is called a contingent fee and is a percentage of your award. We are only entitled to such a fee if we are successful in obtaining an award or settlement for you in your talc powder lawsuit.
Q: Do I have to advance money for costs?
A: No, you do not have to advance any moneys for costs. We will advance the money necessary to pay for the out-of-pocket costs required to prosecute your case. If you receive a settlement or award, we will be reimbursed out of the settlement for the costs we advanced on your behalf. If you do not receive a baby powder settlement or award, you owe nothing.
Q: How soon will you begin work on my case?
A: As soon as we receive your signed Retainer Agreement, we will begin work on your case. The initial phase of this work will be to conduct an interview with you, obtain medical records, and evaluate your potential claim. To do so, you also need to sign and return the HIPPA medical releases.

Our Investigation – Our Commitment

We are currently investigating baby powder lawsuits — cases of ovarian cancer associated with women’s use of Johnson’s® Baby Powder and Shower to Shower® Body Powder. If you (or a loved one) have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have a history of applying talc-containing powders to the genital area, we would like to speak with you. Please complete and submit our Case Evaluation Form. We will contact you within 24 hours and if we agree to investigate your case further, we will begin working on it as soon as you formally hire us to do so. There is no out-of-pocket cost – we work strictly on a contingent fee basis which means we only receive a fee if you, or your loved one, receive compensation for the injury.

Cramer DW et al. The Association Between Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer: A Retrospective Case-Control Study in Two US States. Epidemiology. 2016 May; 27(3):334-46. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26689397 Gertig DM et al. Prospective Study of Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000; 92:249–52. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/92/3/249.full Terry KL et al. Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: A pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013; 6:811–821. http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/6/8/811 Cramer DW. Ovarian cancer and talc: a case-control study. Cancer. 1982; 50:372-376. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7083145 Henderson WJ. Talc and Carcinoma of the Ovary and Cervix. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 1971; 78:266-272. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1971.tb00267.x/abstract American Cancer Society. Talcum Powder and Cancer. Last medical review: November 17, 2014. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC). http://www.ovarian.org/types_and_stages.php Grens K. Can Talc Cause Cancer? The Scientist. March 2, 2016. http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/45493/title/Can-Talc-Cause-Cancer-/ Cohen R. Genital talc boosts ovarian cancer risk in study. Reuters. March 3, 2016. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-talc-cancer-idUSKCN0W52R1 Berfield S et al. Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem: More than 1,000 women are suing the company for covering up a cancer risk. Bloomberg Businessweek. March 31, 2016. http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-baby-powder-cancer-lawsuits/ Bross T et al. J&J Must Pay $72 Million Over Talc Tied to Woman's Cancer. Bloomberg. February 22-23, 2016. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-23/j-j-ordered-to-pay-72-million-over-talc-tied-to-ovarian-cancer Feeley J et al. J&J's Talcum Powder Goes on Trial in Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits. Bloomberg. February 2, 2016. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/j-j-s-talcum-powder-goes-on-trial-in-ovarian-cancer-lawsuits Mulcahy N. Talc Powder, Ovarian Cancer Link: What is the Evidence? Medscape Medical News/Oncology. February 25, 2016. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/859485

FREE TALC POWDER
CASE EVALUATION

Please fill in the form to request a FREE case evaluation from one of our attorneys if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after January 1, 2014 and after long term use of talc-based baby or body powder.

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Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after January 1, 2014 and after long term use of talc-based baby or body powders? *
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