In 2008, there was a critical review of the evidence that using talcum powder in the perineal region might cause ovarian cancer.
Here is the paper:
The full-text of a draft submission for the paper is available here.
It found that,
- several studies had found an association. (Keep reading, there is a twist!)
- the relative risk was about 1.3 - which means 30% more likely, not 300 times more likely.
- although talc has a similar classification to asbestos, it is not carcinogenic like asbestos.
- the studies had a number of holes (e.g. inconsistent dose-response effects), raising concerns about their validity as evidence of causation.
- there are inconsistencies between these findings and other studies of the safety of talc.
They conclude that these findings are NOT enough to conclude that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer:
Talc is not genotoxic. Mechanistic, pathology and animal model studies have not found evidence for a carcinogenic effect. In summary, these data collectively do not indicate that cosmetic talc causes ovarian cancer.