Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer

Asbestos exposure has been proven to cause ovarian cancer. Women who worked with asbestos, used asbestos-contaminated products like talcum powder, or lived with people who worked near asbestos are especially at risk. Learn more about the link between asbestos and ovarian cancer and how you can seek financial compensation.

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Amy Garrett

Fact-Checked and Legally Reviewed: Amy E. Garrett

What Is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancerAccording to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is the fifth most common death-causing cancer in women. Approximately 50% of women diagnosed with this type of cancer are over the age of 63. Based on the most recent data, the American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 20,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and nearly 13,000 women will die from ovarian cancer in 2022.

Ovarian cancer is caused by abnormal cell growth in the ovaries, the organs responsible for female hormone and egg production. In some instances, ovarian cancer can also affect the fallopian tubes and peritoneum, a membrane that covers the abdominal organs. The ovarian cancer diagnosis is typically confirmed through an ultrasound and blood test, in addition to a pelvic exam.

How Does Asbestos Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Research studies indicate a connection between asbestos and ovarian cancer. In fact, women who have been exposed to asbestos are twice as likely to develop ovarian cancer compared to women who have not had any physical contact with asbestos.

How do women come in contact with asbestos? One reason is that asbestos-laden products break down over time and release asbestos fibers. These fibers can be inhaled or, in the case of ovarian cancer, enter the body through the reproductive tract.

Contaminated Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Cosmetic products that include talcum powder, which sometimes contains asbestos, have been linked to ovarian cancer.

One reason some cosmetic products include asbestos is that talc and asbestos are found close together, so when talc was mined, it was sometimes contaminated by asbestos. As a result, people who routinely apply cosmetic products containing talc with asbestos are at risk for cancer.

Examples of products that have proven to have asbestos in them include:
  • Beauty Glazed Gorgeous Me Eye Shadow Tray Palette
  • Beauty Plus Global City Color
  • Children’s makeup sold by Claire’s jewelry stores
  • Jmkcoz 120 Colors Eyeshadow Palette
  • Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder
  • Just Shine Shimmer Powder sold by Justice

Research also shows that those who used asbestos-containing talcum powder on their face are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Similarly, women who frequently applied asbestos-laced hygiene products have an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Occupational Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer

It has long been established that there is a link between on-the-job exposure to asbestos and an eventual cancer diagnosis. In fact, there are certain jobs that put women at risk for ovarian cancer:

  • Asbestos cement production
  • Gas mask production
  • Operation of milling machinery
  • Textile manufacturing

Additionally, women living with individuals working in asbestos-related occupations, such as construction workers or military veterans, are at risk for ovarian cancer. In these cases of secondary exposure, workers returned home with asbestos fibers on their clothing and body, continually exposing the women they lived with to asbestos.

If you were repeatedly exposed to asbestos because of your job, and have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us today to learn more about your eligibility and see if you have a case.

Who Is Most at Risk for Ovarian Cancer?

There are several factors that increase a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In addition to being middle-aged, these factors include:

  • A previous breast, uterine, or colon cancer diagnosis
  • A prior endometriosis diagnosis
  • Being of Ashkenazi Jewish or Eastern European descent
  • Having a family history of ovarian cancer
  • Having a genetic mutation
  • Having trouble conceiving or never having given birth

What Are the Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer?

The most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:
  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss
  • Back pain
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent or urgent urination
  • Menstrual cycle changes
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or becoming full too fast
  • Upset stomach

Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Diagnosing Asbestos-Related Ovarian Cancer

An official diagnosis of ovarian cancer is verified through a biopsy, where a doctor removes tissues for examination at a medical lab. Depending on the patient’s case, some biopsies are performed through surgical intervention and some are conducted by piercing the skin with a needle.

Ovarian Cancer Staging

Ovarian cancer treatment plans and prognosis are based on the patient’s current cancer stage. Staging is determined through diagnostic testing, imaging scans, and samples collected during surgery.

Stage 1

Stage 1

There is a confirmed presence of a small cancerous tumor in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes. The tumor has not metastasized and the lymph nodes are cancer-free.

Stage 2

Stage 2

Along with the presence of a cancerous tumor in one or both ovaries or fallopian tubes, cancer cells have begun spreading to other nearby organs, such as the uterus or bladder, but not to other areas in the body.

Stage 3

Stage 3

The cancer tumors have spread to other organs in addition to those located within the pelvic area. Cancer may have also spread to lymph nodes near the abdomen.

Stage 4

Stage 4

Known as the late or advanced stage of ovarian cancer, a confirmed stage 4 diagnosis means that the tumors have spread to other organs in the body, and not just to organs near the reproductive organs.

Ovarian Cancer Prognosis

Although the prognosis for women with ovarian cancer depends on several factors, such as age and overall health, the prognosis for Stage 1 ovarian cancer is typically positive. These patients have a five-year survival rate of more than 90%. This means that they are alive for at least five years after first becoming sick. Women with Stage 3 ovarian cancer have a five-year survival rate of about 39%. For any stage of ovarian cancer, 75% of patients live for at least one year following their diagnosis.

Ovarian Cancer Life Expectancy

Regardless of cancer stage, about 72% of women with ovarian cancer live for a minimum of one year following their diagnosis. Additionally, 46% of women with ovarian cancer live for at least five years following their diagnosis.

Below are the stage-specific survival rates on a five-year basis. These numbers show the likelihood that women will live for a minimum of five years, starting from when they first experienced symptoms of ovarian cancer.

  • Stage 1: 85-90%
  • Stage 2: 57-78%
  • Stage 3: 39-59%
  • Stage 4: 17%

Treating Asbestos Ovarian Cancer

Doctors performing surgery on cancer patientOvarian cancer is typically treated through a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery under the supervision of a gynecologic oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating female patients who have been diagnosed with cancers that affect their reproductive organs.


There are a variety of medications women can take to try to shrink the size of their ovarian cancer tumors.

Radiation Therapy

This type of treatment is typically used on ovarian cancer patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of their pelvis. Radiation therapy sessions are usually scheduled for five days a week for several weeks.


For women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, surgical intervention to remove the cancerous tissues. Surgery can be followed up with the CA-125 test, which measures the amount of a protein in the blood called CA-125. The test results can determine the presence of the cancer, and confirm whether it has come back after treatment.

File an Asbestos Ovarian Cancer Claim

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a result of previous asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. We understand that this is a very stressful time for you and your family. But you don’t have to fight alone. is connected to a network of attorneys nationwide and can get you in touch with an experienced law firm. Our attorneys don’t charge upfront or out-of-pocket fees, so there is no financial risk for you to work with them.

The first step in filing an ovarian cancer lawsuit is to schedule a free, no-obligation legal consultation. Contact us today to get started. Contact us today to discuss your case and see if you qualify for filing a lawsuit.

Asbestos & Ovarian Cancer FAQs

What are the early signs of ovarian cancer?

In its early stages, ovarian cancer symptoms are not commonly detectable by patients. However, as the disease progresses, some patients will begin to feel several noticeable symptoms. These symptoms include a sense of urgency and frequency associated with urination, indigestion, and nausea. Some women also experience ongoing bouts of severe fatigue, feeling unusually bloated or full, and sudden weight loss or weight gain.

Can you feel a lump with ovarian cancer?

Because the ovaries are internal organs, lumps in that area are typically undetectable with just the touch of the hand.

Can you have children after an ovarian cancer diagnosis?

Ovarian cancer treatments such as radiation therapy often result in infertility, thus eliminating the chance of becoming pregnant naturally. However, women can freeze their eggs prior to receiving treatment, so that their eggs do not come in contact with these elements.

Amy Garrett

Fact-Checked and Legally Reviewed: Amy E. GarrettPartner

  • Lawyer
  • Editor

Amy Garrett is a partner at Simmons Hanly Conroy with more than 22 years of litigation experience. Amy has helped the firm secure billions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients. Over the past two decades, she has gained a reputation as a litigator who advocates for her asbestos and complex litigation clients both inside and outside the courtroom. Icon

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  1. American Association for Cancer Research. “Does Exposure to Asbestos Cause Ovarian Cancer? A Systematic Literature Review and Meta-analysis.” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
  2. American Cancer Society. “Key Statistics for Ovarian Cancer.” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
  3. American Cancer Society. “Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer.” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
  4. American Cancer Society. “Talcum Powder and Cancer.” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Basic Information About Ovarian Cancer.” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ”How Is Ovarian Cancer Treated?” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
  7. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Occupational Exposure to Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer: A Meta-analysis.” Retrieved from /articles/PMC3230399/. Accessed August 16, 2022.
  8. Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance. “Stages of Ovarian Cancer.” Retrieved from Accessed August 16, 2022.
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