Use of talcum powder and endometrial cancer risk
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- Neill, A.S., Nagle, C.M., Spurdle, A.B. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2012) 23: 513. doi:10.1007/s10552-011-9894-5
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Use of talcum powder in the perineal area has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer, and a recent cohort study found a positive association with endometrial cancer. We sought to confirm this association using data from the Australian National Endometrial Cancer Study (ANECS).
ANECS was a population-based case–control study conducted from 2005 to 2007, in which 1,399 women with newly diagnosed histologically confirmed primary endometrial cancer and 740 control women provided risk factor information via telephone interview. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios adjusting for potential confounders.
We found no significant association between ever use of talc in the perineal area (OR 0.88, 95% CI: 0.68–1.14) or upper body area (OR 0.90, 95% CI: 0.71–1.14) and risk of endometrial cancer. The results were similar when stratified by subtype. Composite variables combining frequency and duration of talc use were also not significantly associated with risk (any perineal area use p = 0.07 and any upper body use p = 0.49).
The absence of any increase in risk and the similarity of our results for talc use on the upper body and in the perineal area do not support the hypothesis that use of talc in the perineal area is associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer. Our data do not confirm the positive association between perineal talc use and endometrial cancer observed in the only previous study.