The jury is still out on the extent of the connection between talcum powder and cancer, but the American Cancer society says “there is some suggestion of an increase in ovarian cancer risk” in talcum powder user.
Talcum powder is produced from talc, a magnesium trisilicate mineral, which in its natural form may contain the carcinogen asbestos, but since 1973.
A study of women using talc containing products showed that 50% to 90% higher risk of developing certain types of ovarian cancer. Another study published in 2000 found no effect on ovarian cancer overall but a 40% increase risk in one type — invasive serous cancers. In 2003, analysis of 16 studies on the connection found a 33% increase in ovarian risk among talc users.
The American Cancer Society advises that “people who use powder may wish to consider avoiding these products or substituting cornstarch-based powders that contain no talc. There is no evidence at present linking cornstarch powders with any form of cancer.”