More than 1,000 women and their families are suing J&J and Imerys, claiming the companies have known of the association with ovarian cancer for years and failed to warn them. The next trial is scheduled to begin on April 11 in a St. Louis circuit court. “Whether or not the science indicates that Baby Powder is a cause of ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson has a very significant breach of trust,” says Julie Hennessy, a marketing professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. “In trying to protect this one business, they’ve put the whole J&J brand at risk.”
Angelina Jolie Pitt writes about her decision to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes at the age of 39 -- 10 years younger than her mother was when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This comes two years after her decision to have a double mastectomy.
The American College of Physicians admitted Monday that pelvic exams are not a useful screening tool for healthy women, and can even be harmful. Although these exams are often still required for hormonal contraception, there is no medical reason to do so, and pelvics are often a significant barrier to birth control access. They are not an effective way to diagnose ovarian cancer either, and urinalysis is a better way to detect STIs. The American College of Obstetricans and Gynecologists disagreed, but acknowledged that the case for pelvic exams "lacks data." Pelvic exams are so anxiety-inducing, uncomfortable, or painful that they can even cause some people to avoid medical care altogether, yet both clinicians and patients are so resistant to change that it's likely millions of women will continue to be screened despite the lack of evidence of benefit.
Southern Comfort is a 2001 documentary film about the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear that treating such a patient would hurt their reputation. You can watch the film here, part 1 through 10.