Talcum powder 'can raise cancer risk'
28 Sep 2008, PTI
LONDON: Ladies, please note -- the next time you use talcum powder to keep fresh, make sure you don't sprinkle it in your lower body.
A new study has revealed that women who use talcum powder around their private parts everyday are actually 40 per cent more likely to develop ovarian cancer -- the risk is only restricted to the lower body.
Talc is made from a mineral called hydrous magnesium silicate which is crushed, dried and milled to produce powder used in cosmetic products.
And, according to researchers, powder applied to the private parts in the lower body may travel to the ovaries and trigger a process of inflammation that allows cancer cells to flourish.
Lead researcher Dr Maggie Gates said that until the outcome of further researches, women should avoid using talc in the genital area, the 'Daily Mail' reported.
Dr Gates and colleagues at Harvard Medical School have based their findings on an analysis of over 3,000 women -- the study found using talcum powder once a week raised the risk of ovarian cancer by 36 per cent.
The risk increased to 41 per cent for those applying the powder every day, the researchers found.
The study also revealed that the risks were greater still for those with a certain genetic profile. Women carrying a gene called glutathione S-transferase M1, but lacking a gene called glutathione S-transferase T1, were three times likely to develop tumours.
The study has been published in the latest issue of the 'Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention' journal.