Talcum powder has been used for decades as a feminine hygiene product. Unfortunately, regular use of it for this purpose has been linked to the development of deadly ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is an especially aggressive type of cancer that starts in a woman’s ovaries but quickly spreads to other parts of her body as the cancer grows. It has few initial symptoms, so women often do not discover that they have ovarian cancer until the disease has progressed. As a result, treatments, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, are less effective, and too many women die from this disease. In fact, of all reproductive cancers, ovarian cancer is the most deadly.
How Talcum Powder May Have Caused Your Ovarian Cancer
When women use talcum powder to dust their sanitary napkins, tampons, and genital areas, the talc particles can travel through their reproductive system and into their ovaries. These particles become embedded in ovarian tissues, causing inflammation, irritation, and damage to DNA, which allows the development and growth of ovarian cancer cells. Numerous studies dating back to the 1970’s have found talc particles in ovarian tumors of women who regularly used talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product.
Many women and their families have begun suing Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower—the two most popular products containing talc. These lawsuits claim that Johnson & Johnson knew of the dangerous link between use of its products for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer and failed to warn consumers of the dangers. Over 1,200 individual lawsuits and at least two class action lawsuits have been filed so far. A few of these cases have gone to trial, and juries have awarded women and the families of deceased women who died of ovarian cancer millions in damages—including punitive damages.
How Do You Know If You Should Pursue a Talcum Powder Claim?
If you regularly used talcum powder for personal hygiene and developed ovarian cancer, you may be wondering if your cancer was caused by use of this product and whether you should pursue a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Understanding some of the criteria used to determine whether to pursue a claim can help you decide whether to go forward. To evaluate these cases, lawyers are asking whether the woman meets the following criteria:
- Has been diagnosed with an ovarian-type cancer
- Used talcum powder on a regular basis for four years or more as a feminine hygiene product
- Used Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower
- Biopsy results show evidence of talcum powder
- No family history of ovarian cancer or a genetic disorder pre-disposing her to ovarian cancer, such as the BRCA-1 gene
What happens if some of these factors apply to you, but others do not? For example, you may have used baby powder religiously, but for slightly less than four years.
The bottom line is that you do not want to make the decision whether to pursue a claim on your own. Even if you do not meet all of the criteria, you may have a claim for compensation. You need to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can investigate your claim, review your medical records, and make a determination as to whether you have sufficient evidence to pursue a lawsuit.
How Will Your Attorney Determine If Your Ovarian Cancer Is Linked to Talcum Powder Use?
Your attorney will order a copy of your medical records and review them carefully. The most important pieces of evidence will be your pathology reports and tissue samples used to diagnose your cancer. He may hire a talcum powder ovarian cancer expert to review the pathology reports. If your ovarian tissues contain talc fibers, this shows a likelihood that your talcum powder use caused your cancer.
You may wonder why your doctor did not look for this link. In many cases, doctors are more concerned about fighting the disease than determining its cause. However, talc fibers have been found in the ovaries of women suing and winning these talcum powder cases.
Contact Christopher J. Hudson, LLC, Today
If you suspect your cancer or a loved one’s cancer was caused by talcum powder use, you need to consult with an attorney quickly. The experienced attorneys at Christopher J. Hudson, LLC, are here to help. Contact us online, start an online chat or call our office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. Learn all you can about your legal options.