ASPPH logo


Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

LSU and UVA Study Links Body Powder to Cancer in African Americans

Epidemiologic studies indicate increased ovarian cancer risk among women who use genital powder. This study evaluated the relationship between use of genital powder and non-genital powder in invasive epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), specifically on African American women, which had not been thoroughly investigated. This group has been found to have a high prevalence for use of genital powder.

This study is a collaboration between Louisiana State University School of Public Health, University of Virginia Department of Public Health Science, Hollings Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Population Science, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Duke University Medical Center, Cancer Prevention, Detection, and Control Research Program, Duke University Medical Center. It is lead at LSU School of Public Health by Dr. Edward S. Peters, Professor and Director of Epidemiology and at the University of Virginia by Professor of Public Health Science, Dr. Joellen M. Schildkraut. Dr. Lauren Peres, also a contributor to this study from the University of Virginia, is an alumni of LSU School of Public Health.

This scientific article “Association between Body Powder Use and Ovarian Cancer: the African American Cancer Epidemiology Study (AACES)” was published, May 12, 2016 in the American Association for Cancer Research Journal and sited in New York Times article “Lawsuits Over Baby Powder Raise Questions About Cancer Risk”, published May 23, 2015.

The New York Times article explains, “Many women use the powder on their inner thighs to prevent chafing, while others sprinkle it on their perineum, sanitary pads or underwear to stay “fresh” and dry” and the report earlier this month stated that among African-American women, genital use of powder is linked with a 44 percent increased risk for invasive epithelial ovarian cancer.”

The scientific findings conclude that in a study of African American women, body powder use was significantly associated with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) risk. The results support that body powder is a modifiable risk factor for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) among African American women. Suggesting that body powder is not necessary and should be avoided in this application to prevent ovarian cancer.

To read more: