Are There Certain Races at Higher Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

May 20, 2016
by Adler Markoff & Associates

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    Are There Certain Races at Higher Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

    As we’ve discussed in recent weeks, Johnson & Johnson is facing numerous lawsuits in regards to questions about their talcum (baby) powder causing ovarian cancer in women. As hundreds of women across the country continue to bring suits against the pharma giant, we have learned a new detail. According to research, African American women may be at a heightened risk of developing ovarian cancer after using the company’s talcum powder in large part because they were specifically targeted by Johnson & Johnson’s marketing efforts.

    Talcum powder, more commonly referred to as baby powder, is often used to treat diaper rash in infants, however, over the years it has also been aggressively marketed to adult women in order to promote “personal freshness.” Many of these marketing campaigns have pointedly targeted African American women, taking advantage of their beauty rituals. Numerous studies have been conducted uncovering this fact, including an analysis performed by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley, an associate professor of African and American Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. In her study, Tinsley found that Johnson & Johnson have taken advantage of the fact that African American women spend more money on their hair and douche and deodorize twice as much as white women.

    The History and Facts

    Another study conducted by researchers at George Washington University confirmed Tinsley’s findings, discovering that vaginal douching products are used twice as frequently by black women than white women. Those bringing suit against Johnson & Johnson have been made aware of this statistic, which is one of the reasons why they are taking the New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company to court.

    Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder was initially linked to ovarian cancer in the 1970s and 80s. The first time talc particles were discovered in ovarian tumors was 1971. Then, in 1982, a research team at Brigham & Women’s Hospital found there was an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talcum powder on their genitals. Even though this information was made public and it is clear that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the link, the company did nothing. In fact, they continued to market their baby powder to adult women, in particular African Americans.

    Where We Stand Today

    As we’ve discussed in previous blog posts, Johnson & Johnson is facing hundreds of lawsuits and allegations that their talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. Two women in the last several months have been awarded $55 million and $72 million, respectively, by the court system against Johnson & Johnson. In the coming weeks we expect to see a third huge trial begin. This case involves Tenesha Ferrer, a 40 year old woman who has diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer from talcum powder in 2013. Ferrer, along with the woman who was awarded $55 million, areAfrican American woman.

    For more current information regarding the ovarian cancer cases brought against Johnson & Johnson, please contact AMA Law today. Our Oklahoma personal injury attorneys are keeping a watchful eye on these cases and are prepared to answer any questions you may have.

    Request a free consultation

    (405) 607-8757