Possible correlation between melanoma and baby powder/talc

Posted By
3/20/2017 1:23pm
View other posts by
Replies: 2

I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2006, had surgery to remove a large ulcerated mole on my stomach the end of 2006 and underwent the standard one-year treatment with Interferon.  At that time and due to my melanoma having not invaded any of my organs (although the mole was ulcerated and very deep), surgery and Interferon was the only course of treatment offered at that time.


I am now thankfully approaching my 10-year anniversary and still remain NED.  But at the time of my cancer diagnosis, I racked my brain trying to think of what I could have done to make this mole on my stomach (which I had had since very early childhood) change and there was only one thing I could connect it to, and that was daily use of Johnson's & Johnson's baby power/talc to that whole area of my stomach where that mole was.  I had used this powder daily on my stomach for over 20 years.  I researched it on line to try and find any correlation between daily use of this talc over many years and only found there was concern with children and lung cancers.  

Within the last year, I have seen now where there is a correlation between ovarian cancer and these same powder/talc products.  Even though these powders were not directly applied to the skin, there is now proof that these powders could eventually find their way into the body and cause ovarian cancer.

My concern is could there possibly be a correlation between the use of these powders/talcs being applied directly to the skin and skin cancers?!  Have any patients here used baby powders/talcs for long periods of time on your body and found that you've had changes to the moles in those area, namely melanoma?

Any feedback would be much appreciated and very important for those people who are continuing to use baby powders on areas of their body where moles are present.

Love, hugs and best wishes to all here fighting this vicious disease!


Talc in natural form can contain asbestos. But, asbestos-free talc is the type used in baby powders and cosmetics. The link to lung cancer is obvious with asbestos talc being breathed in. The link to ovarian cancer is not as clear, but for some women who have used talcum powder directly on their genital area may have more risk of absorption of talc and possible cancer. Breathing it in would not be the cause for ovarian cancers. Could a talc containing asbestos applied directly on a mole for many years make that mole turn cancerous? Sounds logical. But, I don't think that there would be enough data to really ever know. It could be coincidental that your mole where you applied talc turned into melanoma, it may have turned into melanoma without talc exposure due to your genes or UV exposure from a bad sunburn . Remember, melanoma does not just show up in areas exposed to sun, it can start anywhere, even if you were badly sunburned on a totally different part of the body.

Congrats on 10 years NED!

Thank you for your input.  If not a possible cause, then possibly genetics, but it would not have been sun-related.  Even as a youngster, we didn't have access to beaches and occasionally swam in a pool, but I have to say, I've never had a sun burn.  Hard to believe, but being on the little bit of a chubby side my life, I've never been a swimmer and, in fact, haven't owned a bathing suit in over 40 years!  So it would have to be genetic, I guess.  Prayers to everyone...stay strong and positive.