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Asbestos Ovarian Cancer

Asbestos has been linked to serious health issues like malignant mesothelioma, but recent research suggests the carcinogen can also cause ovarian cancer. Understanding the connection between ovarian cancer and asbestos is key to getting an early diagnosis and seeking legal compensation for your exposure. Learn how Mesothelioma Hope can provide you or a loved one with support after an asbestos ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Fact-Checked and Updated by: Jenna Tozzi, RN

Last updated:

Can Asbestos Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Baby powder

Yes, multiple studies have found a connection between asbestos exposure and the development of ovarian cancer.

Most recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determined that women who used talc-based hygiene products have a higher ovarian cancer incidence.

“Despite challenges in assessing [asbestos] exposure history and biases inherent in retrospective data, our findings are robust, showing a consistent association between genital talc use and ovarian cancer.”
–Dr. Katie O’Brien, epidemiologist & lead study author

They determined the risk was higher for those who used talcum powder often or for many years. The greater the frequency or duration of use, the greater the risk.

The NIH study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in May 2024, tracked over 50,000 women in the U.S. who had a sister diagnosed with breast cancer, which boosted their chances of developing breast or ovarian cancer.

Asbestos Ovarian Cancer Overview

While there are different ways to be exposed to asbestos, many ovarian cancer patients have attributed their cancer to talc-based powders, like talcum powder and baby powder.

Key Facts About Ovarian Cancer and Asbestos

  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers asbestos exposure a known cause of ovarian cancer.
  • Consumer products such as baby powder, talcum powder, and makeup have been found to be contaminated with asbestos.
  • Brands of talc powder linked to ovarian cancer include Johnson’s® Baby Powder, Shower to Shower®, and Gold Bond®.
  • Patients may be entitled to compensation for asbestos-caused ovarian cancer.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with asbestos ovarian cancer, our team is here to help. Get a free asbestos disease case review to see if you may be eligible for financial assistance for ovarian cancer.

Get Compensation for an Asbestos-Related Disease

You may be owed money if you became ill after asbestos exposure.

Get a Free Case Review

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What Talc Products Contain Asbestos?

For decades, products like talcum powder, baby powder, and dusting powder were made from talc, a mineral that is often found near asbestos deposits, which can lead to contamination during mining.

Some talc manufacturers knew their products were contaminated with asbestos but failed to warn consumers to protect their profits.

Talc products linked to asbestos and ovarian cancer include:

  • Avon® Skin So Soft Satin Talc Powder
  • Cashmere Bouquet® talcum powder
  • Desert Flower® talcum powder
  • Johnson’s® Baby Powder
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower® absorbent body powder

Get our Free Asbestos Product Guide to learn about everyday products that put consumers at risk.

Lawsuits for Asbestos Exposure and Ovarian Cancer

As of June 2024, nearly 60,000 talcum powder lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson (J&J). To date, the company has paid billions of dollars to cancer victims nationwide.

While talc manufacturers maintain their products are safe, they’ve already paid billions of dollars in asbestos settlements and trial verdicts to victims.

In May 2024, J&J proposed an asbestos ovarian cancer settlement that would pay $6.48 billion to current and future victims over the next 25 years. Plaintiffs have until July to decide whether to accept the settlement or push forward with their claims.

Other notable asbestos ovarian cancer settlement and verdict payouts include:

  • $2.1 billion for 22 women who filed an ovarian cancer and asbestos class action lawsuit
  • $417 million to a California woman who used Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades
  • $110 million on behalf of a long-term talc product user
  • $72 million to the family of a woman who passed away from ovarian cancer
  • $70 million for a J&J talc asbestos-talc cancer victim
  • $55 million on behalf of a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer

It’s not too late to take legal action and seek compensation for asbestos ovarian cancer. Take the first step toward justice with a free asbestos case review.

Get Compensation for an Asbestos-Related Disease

You may be owed money if you became ill after asbestos exposure.

Get a Free Case Review

Free Case Review

Other Ways Asbestos May Cause Ovarian Cancer

Women may be exposed to asbestos in ways other than through contaminated talc and develop an asbestos-related disease like ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or lung cancer.

Other risk factors for asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer include:

  • Occupational exposure: Asbestos-related diseases have developed in women who worked in factories or other industrial settings or within older or damaged buildings. Asbestos textile workers and anyone who worked around raw talc are especially at risk of occupational exposure to asbestos and ovarian cancer.
  • Home exposure: Private residences, public buildings, and other structures built before the 1980s likely contained many asbestos products, like asbestos cement, insulation, and tiles. When these buildings were in poor condition or underwent repair, asbestos fibers may have been released into the air.
  • Environmental exposure: There are several natural asbestos deposits across the U.S. Mining these sites can cause asbestos dust to be released into the area, posing a danger to public health.
  • Secondary exposure: It’s possible to come in contact with asbestos from fibers that family members unknowingly brought home on their hair or clothing. Women may have been exposed when they did the laundry or hugged a loved one.

Asbestos lawyers have resources they can use to help victims figure out how, when, and where they were exposed to asbestos.

Symptoms of Asbestos Ovarian Cancer

The symptoms of asbestos ovarian cancer differ depending on the person and their cancer’s stage. The disease is often difficult to detect when it’s in an early stage since the symptoms are vague and associated with other common health conditions.

Signs of asbestos ovarian cancer include:

  • Abnormal discharge or bleeding after menopause
  • Bloating or feeling swollen in the stomach
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling full soon after eating
  • Needing to urinate frequently
  • Pain or tenderness in the abdomen, lower back, or pelvic area
  • Unexplained weight loss
Did You Know?

About 50% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 63 years or older.

Ovarian cancer can be difficult to detect when it’s in an early stage since the symptoms are vague and associated with other common health conditions.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, consider getting checked out by your doctor as soon as possible.

Asbestos Ovarian Cancer Treatment

After an ovarian cancer diagnosis, your cancer care team will come up with a personalized treatment plan based on your cancer stage, overall health, and other factors.

Treatment options for asbestos ovarian cancer include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Targeted therapy

Treatments can help patients relieve symptoms and even beat this cancer. When diagnosed at an early stage, about 93% of women are still alive 5 years later, compared to 75% of patients diagnosed at an intermediate stage.

Get Help for Asbestos Ovarian Cancer

For decades, asbestos in talcum powder and other consumer goods put millions of innocent women in harm’s way. As a result, many women are being diagnosed with asbestos ovarian cancer today.

Mesothelioma Hope is here to support you during this challenging time. Our Patient Advocates can help you explore your legal options and connect you with emotional support after an asbestos ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Call (866) 608-8933 or request a Free Asbestos Case Review to see if you may be eligible for financial assistance.

Asbestos Ovarian Cancer FAQs

Can you get ovarian cancer from asbestos?

Yes, it’s possible to develop ovarian cancer from asbestos exposure.

Multiple studies have concluded that women exposed to asbestos through contaminated talcum powder and in occupational settings face an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

How does asbestos cause ovarian cancer?

While the exact disease process is unknown, scientists believe that microscopic asbestos fibers can build up in ovarian tissues, resulting in inflammation, cell damage, and eventually cancer.

When women use talcum powder or baby powder that has been contaminated with asbestos in the genital area, the microscopic asbestos fibers may travel through the reproductive system to the ovaries.

What two illnesses are associated with asbestos exposure?

Ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, among other health conditions, have been linked to asbestos exposure. When people come in contact with asbestos, the tiny fibers can become lodged in the body and result in genetic mutations years later that cause cancerous tumors to form.

The two most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, which affects the pleura (lining of the lungs), and peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the peritoneum (abdominal lining).

The most common type of ovarian cancer is epithelial ovarian carcinoma, which develops on the outside of the ovary. Some cases of ovarian cancer are misdiagnosed as peritoneal mesothelioma since the symptoms are similar.

Which patient has a very high risk for developing ovarian cancer?

Women who regularly used talc-based talcum powders and baby powders are at an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

One study found that women who used cosmetic talc products as part of their feminine hygiene routine were 33% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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  2. American Cancer Society. (2023, March 1). Survival Rates for Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
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  5. Camargo, M. et al. (2011, September). Occupational Exposure to Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer: A Meta-analysis. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
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  7. Environmental Factor. (2024, May 15). Genital talc use may be linked to increased risk of ovarian cancer. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
  8. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
  9. Moffitt Cancer Center. (n.d.). Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
  10. NBC News. (2024, May 18). Study links talc use to ovarian cancer — a potential boon for thousands suing J&J. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
  11. O’Brien KM, Wentzensen N, Ogunsina K, Weinberg CR, D’Aloisio AA, Edwards JK, Sandler DP. Intimate Care Products and Incidence of Hormone-Related Cancers: A Quantitative Bias Analysis. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2024 May 15. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
  12. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2024, June 3). MDL Statistics Report – Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved June 28, 2024, from
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