• Women's Cancer Research Foundation

Genital Powder Use and Epithelial Ovarian Cancer



Use of genital powder use is more common among Black women than White women, but previous studies of genital powder use and ovarian cancer risk were primarily conducted in White populations. Beginning in 2014, several lawsuits were filed against companies with talc products (baby powder) on behalf of women with ovarian cancer. The study with the largest number of Black women with ovarian cancer who used genital powder, was the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study. In this analysis, four population-based case-control studies, which incorporated the North Carolina Ovarian Cancer Study, Los Angeles County Ovarian Cancer Study, Cook County Case Study, and the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study.


Beginning in 2014, several lawsuits were filed against companies with talc products (baby powder) on behalf of women with ovarian cancer.

Frequency of genital powder use was categorized as no use, ≤ once per week, and > once per week. Duration of genital powder use was categorized as no use, < 20 years of use, and ≥ 20 years. Ever use of genital powder was associated with a 32% higher risk of ovarian cancer among all women. When stratified by race, there was a 36% higher risk of ovarian cancer among White women and a non-significantly higher risk among Black women. In terms of cancer histology, both Black and White women who ever used talc powder in the genital area were at a higher risk for advanced ovarian cancer. Use of genital body powder was more strongly associated with the risk of advanced ovarian cancer in Black women, while a positive association was observed irrespective of histology type in White women.


About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.


Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF)

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