Advertisement

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 737–742 | Cite as

Genital powder exposure and the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer

  • Karin A. Rosenblatt
  • Noel S. Weiss
  • Kara L. Cushing-Haugen
  • Kristine G. Wicklund
  • Mary Anne RossingEmail author
Original paper

Abstract

Background

We conducted a population-based, case–control study to examine the association between the use of genital powder and ovarian cancer risk, including measures of extent and timing of exposure. We also assessed the relationship of powder use with risk of disease subtypes according to histology and degree of malignancy.

Methods

Information was collected during in-person interviews with 812 women with epithelial ovarian cancer diagnosed in western Washington State from 2002 to 2005 and 1,313 controls. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results

Overall, the perineal use of powder after bathing was associated with a slightly increased ovarian cancer risk (OR = 1.27, 95% CI: 0.97–1.66), which was most evident among women with borderline tumors (OR = 1.55, 95% CI: 1.02–2.37). We noted no clear pattern of risk increase on the basis of the extent of use, assessed as years in which powder was used, or as lifetime number of applications for invasive or borderline tumors, or their histologic subtypes. There was no alteration in the risk of ovarian cancer associated with other types of powder exposure (e.g., on sanitary napkins or diaphragms).

Conclusions

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated perineal exposure to talc (via the application of genital powders) as a possible carcinogen in women. A modest association of ovarian cancer with this exposure was seen in our study and in some previous ones, but that association generally has not been consistent within or among studies. Therefore, no stronger adjective than “possible” appears warranted at this time.

Keywords

Ovarian neoplasms Talc Epidemiology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study is funded by grants under R01 CA87538 and R01CA112523 from the US National Cancer Institute.

References

  1. 1.
    Harlow BL, Hartge PA (1995) A review of perineal talc exposure and risk of ovarian cancer. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 21:254–260PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Venter PF (1981) Ovarian epithelial cancer and chemical carcinogenesis. Gynecol Oncol 12:281–285PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Langseth H, Hankinson SE, Siemiatycki J, Weiderpass E (2008) Perineal talc use and risk of ovarian cancer. J Epidemiol Community Health 62:358–360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Merritt MA, Green AC, Nagle CM, Webb PM, Australian Cancer Study (Ovarian Cancer), Australian Ovarian Cancer Study Group (2008) Talcum powder, chronic pelvic inflammation and NSAIDs in relation to risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer 122:170–176PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wu AH, Pearce CL, Tseng CC, Templeman C, Pike MC (2009) Markers of inflammation and risk of ovarian cancer in Los Angeles County. Int J Cancer 124:1409–1415PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gertig DM, Hunter DJ, Cramer DW, Colditz GA, Speizer FE, Willett WC, Hankinson SE (2000) Prospective study of talc use and ovarian cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 92:249–252PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Baan R, Straif K, Grosse Y, Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Cogliano V, On behalf of the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer Monograph Working Group (2006) Carcinogenicity of carbon black, titanium dioxide, and talc. Lancet Oncol 7:295–296PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rossing MA, Wicklund KG, Cushing-Haugen KL, Doherty JA, Weiss NS (2007) Menopausal hormone therapy and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 16:2548–2556PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rossing MA, Cushing-Haugen KL, Wicklund KG, Weiss NS (2008) Cigarette smoking and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer. Cancer Causes Control 19:413–420PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heller DS, Westhoff C, Gordon RE, Katz N (1996) The relationship between perineal cosmetic talc usage and ovarian talc particle burden. Am J Obstet Gynecol 174:1507–1510PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Harlow BL, Cramer DW, Bell DA, Welch WR (1992) Perineal exposure to talc and ovarian cancer risk. Obstet Gynecol 80:19–26PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chang S, Risch HA (1997) Perineal talc exposure and risk of ovarian carcinoma. Cancer 79:2396–2401PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin A. Rosenblatt
    • 1
  • Noel S. Weiss
    • 2
    • 3
  • Kara L. Cushing-Haugen
    • 2
  • Kristine G. Wicklund
    • 2
  • Mary Anne Rossing
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Community HealthUniversity of Illinois at Urbana ChampaignChampaignUSA
  2. 2.Program in EpidemiologyFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

Personalised recommendations