Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

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Ovarian cancer encompasses cancers of the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the primary peritoneum (tissue that lines the abdominal wall and covers abdominal organs). These cancers often go undetected until they’ve reached advanced stages. It is important to pay attention to your body and look out for the early warning signs of ovarian cancer. Symptoms can include:

  • Menstruation changes
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pressure or pain
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Persistent back pain
  • Feeling overly full after a meal
  • Trouble eating due to feelings of fullness
  • Urinary frequency
  • Urinary urgency
  • Pressure during urination
  • Constant fatigue
  • Constipation

Several risk factors can increase your likelihood for ovarian cancer such as being middle-aged or older, having a family history of ovarian cancer, or have had other types of cancer in the past. The International Agency for Research on Cancer lists ovarian cancer as one of the four known types of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Ovarian cancer has been linked to asbestos exposure through the use of talcum powder. When talcum powder is used in the genital region, particles can migrate into the vaginal canal to embed themselves into sensitive ovarian tissues, causing inflammation.

Women were exposed to talc contaminated with asbestos in a multitude of products including:

  • Baby/body powders
  • Face powders
  • Makeup foundations
  • Eyeshadows
  • Blush/highlighter/contour powders
  • Deodorants
  • Feminine wipes/powders

greyscale photography of powder

While there is no known way to prevent ovarian cancer, there are ways you can reduce your risk. Maintaining regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet can help keep your risk down. Additionally, talking to your physician about your health history and other preventative strategies such as diagnostic tests or surgeries may be beneficial in reducing your risk. If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and have been exposed to asbestos from talcum powder use, we encourage you to fill out a free case evaluation.