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Talcum Powder Linked to Ovarian Cancer

October 14, 2008 | 39,873 views
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talcum powderWomen have been warned to immediately stop using talcum powder around their genitals, as new research suggests particles may travel to the ovaries and trigger a process of inflammation that allows cancer cells to flourish.

Previous studies have raised concerns over talc, but the latest findings suggest that women who use it are 40 percent more likely to get ovarian cancer.

Experts studied more than 3,000 women and found using talc merely once a week raised the risk of ovarian cancer by 36 percent. The danger rose to 41 percent for those applying powder every day.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Talcum powder is made from talc, a magnesium trisilicate mineral that got a bad reputation back in the 1970s after it was found to contain cancer-causing asbestos. Since 1973, all talcum products including baby powders, body powders and facial powders have been required by law to be asbestos-free, but that doesn’t mean talc is now perfectly safe.

Several studies have linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer, and given that this product is certainly not a necessity to use, it seems wise to bypass it altogether.

Aside from this most recent study, which found a 40 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who use talc once a week, the American Cancer Society reports that:

• A study published in 1997 found women who used applied talcum powder to their external genital area or who used genital deodorant sprays (which often contain talc) had a 50 percent to 90 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer.

• A study from 2000 found that talc use increased the risk of one type of ovarian cancer, invasive serous, by 40 percent.

• A meta-analysis from 2003 found a 33 percent increase in ovarian cancer risk among talc users.

Serious lung damage and cancer have also been reported among workers who have breathed in talcum powder for a long period of time, and for this reason you should not use talc on babies. If a baby inhales talcum powder it can cause serious breathing complications, convulsions and even death, and the powder may also be toxic if swallowed.

What Products Commonly Contain Talc?

Talc is widely used in cosmetics as an anti-caking, bulking agent. The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database reports that it’s found in thousands of toiletries ranging from cosmetics (foundation, blush, lipstick, bronzers, concealer and facial powders) to antiperspirants and deodorants.

Talc is also added to many foods as an anti-caking agent, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted it GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. This means it need not be approved by the FDA prior to use in food. What types of food could chalk-like talk possibly be added to? More than you might think (this is only a partial list):

• Breakfast cereals
• Processed cheese, fruit and vegetables
• Table-top sweeteners
• Condiments (vinegar, mustard, sauces, seasonings)
• Baked goods and candy
• Sherbet and sorbet
• Pudding and yogurt
• Energy drinks
• Processed rice products

If you’re interested in avoiding talc, this is one more reason to become an avid label reader not only of your food but also your cosmetics. Look for talc, talcum, French chalk, talcum powder or (MG3H2 (SIO3 4) in the ingredients list.

Lowering Your Risk of Ovarian, and Other, Cancers

Avoiding talcum powder and other talc-containing products is a simple way to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. What else can you do? Follow these 12 changes that will cut your cancer risk in half:

1. Reduce your processed food, sugar and grain carbohydrate intake. Yes, this is even true for whole unprocessed organic grains as they tend to rapidly break down and drive your insulin and leptin levels up, which is the last thing you need to have happening if you are seeking to resolve a cancer.

2. Control your fasting insulin and leptin levels: This is the end result, and can be easily monitored with the use of simple and relatively inexpensive blood tests.
 
3. Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality krill oil or fish oil and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils.

4. Get regular exercise. One of the primary reasons exercise works is that it drives your insulin levels down. Controlling insulin levels is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your cancer risks.
 
5. Normalize your vitamin D levels by getting plenty of sunlight exposure  and consider careful supplementation when this is not possible. If you take oral vitamin D and have a cancer it would be very prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly.
 
6. Get a good night's sleep.

7. Eat according to your nutritional type. The potent anti-cancer effects of this principle are very much underappreciated. When we treat cancer patients in our clinic this is one of the most powerful anti-cancer strategies we have.

8. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.

9. Limit your exposure and provide protection for yourself from radiation produced by cell phones, cell phone towers, base stations, phones and WiFi stations.

10. Avoid frying or charbroiling your food. Boil, poach or steam your foods instead .

11. Have a tool to permanently reprogram  the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. Even the CDC states that 85 percent of disease is caused by emotions. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. My particular favorite tool for emotional health, as you may know, is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). German New Medicine is another powerful tool.

12. Eat at least one-third of your food raw, keeping in mind that the more you eat raw, the better.

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