Washington, DC—Executive Vice President and CEO of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), Hal C. Lawrence, III, M.D., released the following statement on talc use and ovarian cancer:
“Despite an observed association, several decades of medical research have not demonstrated a direct causative link between the use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Although some case-control studies suggested an association, with a small increase in risk, prospective cohort studies have not demonstrated an increased risk. It is important to note that there are limitations associated with the studies that have investigated this association, which include several types of bias, inadequate sample sizes and the rarity of the disease. Because of concerns regarding potential discomfort or pain, obstetrician-gynecologists do not recommend use of vaginal treatments such as douche, vaginal sprays or talcum powder and the use of talcum powder has declined over the years. There is no medical consensus that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer.”
Read ACOG’s guidance on screening for ovarian cancer in average-risk women.
- Gertig D, Hunter D, Cramer D et al. Prospective Study of Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 2000;92(3):249-252. doi:10.1093/jnci/92.3.249. [https://academic.oup.com/jnci/article/92/3/249/2965050/Prospective-Study-of-Talc-Use-and-Ovarian-Cancer]
- Narod S. Talc and ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Jun;141(3):410-412. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2016.04.011. Epub 2016 Apr 21. [http://www.gynecologiconcology-online.net/article/S0090-8258(16)30139-1/fulltext]
- American Cancer Society, “Talcum Powder and Cancer” [https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/talcum-powder-and-cancer.html]
- Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, “Frequently Asked Questions” [https://ocrfa.org/patients/about-ovarian-cancer/faq/]
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of more than 58,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org