September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. There are many ways to get involved with the national movement if you or someone you love has suffered with ovarian cancer. You can join the conversation on social media using hashtags like: #KnowOvarian, #30DaysOfTeal, or #EndWomensCancer. You can donate or participate in a local event by searching Runwalk.ovarian.org.
You may also consider contacting personal injury attorneys at Showard Law Firm to inquire about filing a lawsuit to pursue justice if the ovarian cancer affecting your family may have been caused by long-term use of talcum powder products, such as Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Nearly 13,000 of these lawsuits have been consolidated before U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson in New Jersey for streamlined discovery processes.
Ovarian Cancer Statistics for 2019
According to the American Cancer Society:
- Ovarian cancer is the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
- Nearly 14,000 U.S. women lose their lives to ovarian cancer each year.
- About 22,530 U.S. women will receive a new ovarian cancer diagnosis each year.
- Half of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years of age or older.
- White women are more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer than African-American women.
- A woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer over the course of a lifetime is 1 in 78.
- The rate of diagnosis has been slowly declining over the past 20 years.
- Approximately 80% of the women diagnosed are at an advanced stage of ovarian cancer.
- The five-year survival rate is 47%, just above brain, stomach, esophageal, liver, lung, and pancreas.
What Causes Ovarian Cancer?
Unlike other cancers, only 10-15% of ovarian cancers are caused by inherited genetic mutations (specifically in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes). Most ovarian cancers are associated with perineal talcum powder use, asbestos exposure, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis, infertility, nulliparity (never having given birth), and advancing age. On the other hand, lower rates are observed in women who have had prior pregnancies, a history of breastfeeding, past use of oral contraceptives, or who underwent a tubal ligation.
Links Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer: What Is the Risk?
The role of talc as an ovarian cancer risk factor has been in the news recently. Though mothers have used baby powder on their children for decades, Johnson & Johnson has also aggressively marketed Shower To Shower talc products for feminine hygiene in mothers. African American and Hispanic women in the South have been among the biggest customers.
Since the 1960s, the manufacturer has been aware that some of their products contained asbestos. Though they claim their products have been free from asbestos since at least the 70s, researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer classify talc without asbestos as a Group 2b “possible carcinogen.” It is believed the talc particles get into the body, causing an inflammatory response, and creating an environment that leads to carcinogenesis.
Epidemiological studies have found a 30-60% increased risk of talc users developing ovarian cancer compared to non-talc users. Cornstarch-based powders have been on the market for years as a safer alternative to talc-based powders.
Recover Financial Compensation for Your Talc Damages
Personal injury lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson accuse the company of:
- Defective design
- Defective manufacturing
- Failing to warn users of known risks
- Misleading advertising
Plaintiffs may be eligible to receive financial compensation for all past, present, and future medical bills, as well as lost wages and an estimation of their pain, suffering, and inconvenience. Spouses and dependents who have lost a loved one to ovarian cancer may be eligible to receive money to cover funeral and burial expenses, as well as the loss of guidance, financial support, or companionship. Showard Law Firm offers free talcum powder lawsuit consultations and contingency-based representation that costs you nothing upfront to pursue.
- American Cancer Society – Key Statistics for Ovarian Cancer, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovarian-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
- National Ovarian Cancer Coalition – Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, http://ovarian.org/page-not-found/508-ovarian-cancer-awareness-month
- European Journal of Cancer Prevention – Perineal talc use and ovarian cancer risk: a case study of scientific standards in environmental epidemiology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21712717