In recent months, people diagnosed with both ovarian cancer and malignant mesothelioma have been filing and winning lawsuits against consumer companies like Johnson & Johnson’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Avon Products and others. The plaintiffs in those cases have accused the companies of negligence and responsibility for their illnesses, asserting that the talc that the companies used in their products was contaminated with asbestos, a carcinogenic material found in close proximity to talc deposits and mines. In defending themselves, the companies have asserted that there is no link between talc and cancer, but now a researcher from the Karmanos Cancer Center in Detroit, Michigan may have identified that link, giving victims additional evidence to support their assertions.
Dr. Ghassan Saed, PhD of Wayne State University and a team of researchers set out to determine whether there is a link between talc and inflammation of the body’s cells. Though their research did not reference malignant mesothelioma, it did focus on the other significant illness that has been the subject of litigation over talc and asbestos exposure: ovarian cancer. Speaking at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncology, Dr. Saed and his team revealed that a lab study they’d conducted had revealed that exposure to talc led to genetic mutations in both healthy fallopian tube cells and ovarian cancer cells. This type of inflammatory response is often a precursor to cancer’s mutations, and may be an indication that that’s how the women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder genitally were sickened: when talcum powder entered their fallopian tubes, it created a reaction that then spread to their ovaries.
Though there is more research that needs to be done, Dr. Saed’s findings are of tremendous interest to victims of both ovarian cancer and malignant mesothelioma, which has also been blamed on exposure to asbestos-contaminated talc. There are currently over 14,000 pending lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson’s alone, asserting that their baby powder and other talc-based products led to the diagnosis of the diseases.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer and you need information about your legal options, we can help. Contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.