The Link Between Talcum Powder And Ovarian Cancer
In the ongoing talcum powder row, many doctors are trying to walk a middle line between powerful pharmaceutical companies and innocent victims by downplaying the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer while advising women not to use the product.
As an example, Dr. Robert Ashley recently wrote that the primary study linking talc to ovarian cancer may have been tainted, but he stopped short of challenging the results. Rather than saying there was no connection, Dr. Ashley opined that the survey method may have been incomplete and the women who testified about the link may have suffered from what he called “recall bias.” Part of the problem is that ovarian cancer is so rare that reliable studies and statistics are difficult to obtain, he added.
Dr.Ashley acknowledged that there may be “a minimal increase in ovarian cancer among menstruating women who use talcum powder,” and he suggested that women use cornstarch instead of talc.
How Talcum Powder Works
Naturally-occurring talc is universally acknowledged as the softest mineral in the world; it has a hardness of 1 on the Mohs’ scale. Additionally, when ground into a powder form, talc is highly absorbent and has a very lightweight sweet smell. All these qualities make talcum powder an ideal part of everyday diaper changes, and that is how Johnson & Johnson first marketed the product in 1894. Shortly thereafter, as drug companies are prone to do, the firm marketed talcum powder to women in order to increase sales, apparently assuming that a baby’s body and a woman’s body are essentially the same thing.
However, talc fibers are similar to asbestos fibers, and they migrate up the uterus and settle in the fallopian tubes, where their carcinogenic qualities often have a devastating effect.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
As in any other dangerous drug case, it normally takes quite some time for victims to come forward, partially because cancer and other such serious diseases have such long incubation periods and partially because the drug companies often pay legal hush money in these cases. Several years ago, over 2,000 talcum powder cases were consolidated in a St. Louis court. Johnson & Johnson is 0-3 in the first three trials, and the juries have awarded a combined $195 million in damages. With pressure mounting, the company wants to move the cases to another location, where hopefully, potential jurors would be less victim-friendly.
Despite the setback, Johnson & Johnson has made every indication that it will continue to fight these cases at least for the time being, making now an excellent time to file a claim for damages. The longer these cases go on, and the more victim/plaintiffs keep winning, the higher the settlement value climbs.
Juries typically make large damage awards in talcum powder and other dangerous drug cases. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Leitchfield, contact Attorney Gary S. Logsdon. We normally do not charge upfront legal fees in mass tort cases.