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October 14, 1983

Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Author Affiliations

National Cancer Institute Bethesda, Md
George Washington University Medical Center Washington, DC

JAMA. 1983;250(14):1844. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340140020020

To the Editor.—  Cramer and co-workers1 recently reported observing an association between talc use and risk of ovarian cancer. We therefore examined data on talc use that two of us (L.M. and L.P.L.) had collected as part of a case-control interview study of epithelial ovarian cancer conducted from 1974 to 1977 in the Washington, DC, area.2 The cases were 197 women with pathologically confirmed primary epithelial ovarian cancers treated in participating hospitals. The controls were 197 women treated at the same hospitals for conditions other than gynecologic, psychiatric, or malignant diseases or pregnancy. The controls were frequency matched to the cases on age, race, and hospital. The interviewers asked questions about reproductive and sexual history, medical history, drug use, and other exposures. Questions about talc use were added to the questionnaire after the study began, so 135 cases and 171 controls were asked about talc exposure.The reported