Johnson & Johnson has to pay $70 million in damages in yet another lawsuit. The issue is with genital talc use and ovarian cancer. The jury ordered the company and its talc supplier to pay about $70 million in damages to a woman. The women blamed her ovarian cancer on the use of talc powders for feminine hygiene.
The award marked the third consecutive loss for Johnson & Johnson in where at least half of some 2,000 ovarian cancer cases have been filed. They allege that genital use of the company’s signature talc products – Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower – caused or contributed to ovarian cancer.
Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman said:
We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.
Talc, the softest of minerals, has a multitude of industrial and consumer product uses. It’s used in the manufacture of paints, paper, rubber, roofing and ceramic materials. Even as a food additive, in chewing gum, as a filler in capsules and pills and in cosmetic products. Johnson & Johnson, Imerys and their lawyers have stressed the safety of a wide range of talc uses in an effort to debunk claims that the substance could cause ovarian cancer.
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Suspicions about talc and ovarian cancer go back decades. In 1982, the journal Cancer published the first study showing a statistical link between genital talc use and the disease. Since then, at least 20 more epidemiological studies have found increased rates of ovarian cancer for women who reported using talc for feminine hygiene.
Every year about 250,000 women across the globe are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and 140 000 women die of it, making it the cancer for women with the lowest survival rate. It is estimated that only 45% of women with Ovarian Cancer are likely to survive for more than five years. (About 89% of Breast Cancer patients survive for five or more years).
Here are 5 Key Facts about Ovarian Cancer, provided by cansa.org:
- All women are at risk of Ovarian Cancer
- Awareness of the early warning signs of the disease could save lives
- Diagnosis at an early stage vastly improves a woman’s chance of survival
- Ovarian Cancer is often diagnosed at a late stage
- Many women mistakenly believe the cervical smear test (Pap test) will detect ovarian cancer
- Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
- Difficulty eating / feeling full quickly
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently
See your family doctor if you have one or more of these symptoms and they last longer than 3 weeks. If you have a family history, speak with your doctor about genetic counseling.
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