Researchers revealed that excessive genital use of talcum powder changes the enzymatic activity favoring ovarian cancer cells' survival. Moreover, with changes at the molecular level, it also causes a reduction in ovarian cancer cell death (apoptosis) and increases in cancer cell proliferation.
Millions of women are using talcum powder in their genital region inspired by its soft consistency and moisture absorbing qualities, However, within a few years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against talcum powder manufacturers, mainly Johnson & Johnson.
Several researchers are studying the cause of cancer development by talc. And what are the changes caused by the asbestos fibers in the body that lead to life-threatening diseases?
Scientists from the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and the Karmanos Cancer Institute, Detroit Michigan, intrigued by this question, discovered that talcum powder causes significant changes at the cellular level that enhance the spread of epithelial ovarian cancer cells.
"These findings are the first to confirm the cellular effect of talc and provide a molecular mechanism to previous reports linking genital use to increased ovarian cancer risk."
Public Awareness Regarding Talcum Powder as a Cancer-Causing Substance
The use of talcum powder on the genitals and its risk of causing ovarian cancer in women is a controversial issue, thousands of lawsuits are currently are being filed across the country against Johnson & Johnson for containing talc as an integral component in its signature talcum powder.
Last year, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $4.69 billion by Missouri court to 22 women who claimed that the company's signature talcum powder is the leading cause for the development of their ovarian cancer.
According to government surveillance data, there were 22,530 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019. And about 13,980 ovarian cancer patients have died. Hence, it is vital to have knowledge of and safeguard yourself from scientifically proven cancer-causing substances.
The presence of asbestos-contaminated talc has been scientifically proven to be associated with numerous cancers. Not only ovarian cancer, but excessive use of talcum powder can also cause several other diseases, including mesothelioma, testicular carcinoma, lung cancer, uterine cancer, stomach cancer, and others.
What Changes Are Caused by Asbestos-contaminated Talc at Molecular Level?
Dr. Ghassan Saed and his team found the mode of the mechanism through which talcum powder induce mutations in the genes that are associated with maintaining the preferable oxidative state of epithelial ovarian cancer cells.
Researchers wrote in the study,
" talc exposure induced specific point mutations that are known to alter the activity in some of these key enzymes. Talc exposure also resulted in a significant increase in inflammation as determined by increased tumor marker..."
Astonishingly, talcum powder has a similar effect on the healthy fallopian cells as well, which enhances the scientific belief that ovarian cancer starts within the fallopian tubes. Dr. Saed said,
“This is the first in vitro study that shows a direct biological effect on what’s thought to be an inert substance on ovarian cancer cells and most importantly, normal cells coming from the fallopian tubes,”
The study also showed that these mutations favored the survival and growth of ovarian cancer cells while diminishing the natural process of cell death. On the contrary, changes at the cellular level induced the destruction of normal healthy cells. As described by the researchers,
"More importantly, talc exposure significantly induced cell proliferation and decreased apoptosis in cancer cells and to a greater degree in normal cells"
Researchers presented these results at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In this research, scientists studied the effects of talc in laboratory conditions. Further research is required to confirm these results in the living body.