London: A new research has suggested that women who regularly use talcum powder to keep fresh actually increase their risk of developing ovarian cancer by almost a quarter.

Scientists have warned powder particles applied to the genital area can travel into a woman's body and trigger inflammation, which allows cancer cells to flourish, a daily reported.

In the past, several studies investigated the link between the powder and tumours. Some detected links with ovarian and womb cancer but others proved inconclusive. But the doctors at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, US, pooled data from eight separate studies to try and come up with a definitive answer.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 8,525 women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and compared talcum powder use with that of 9,800 women who remained cancer-free.

The results, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, showed regularly applying the powder particles after bathing or showering raised the risk of an ovarian tumour by 24 percent.

Cancer of the ovaries is sometimes known as a "silent killer" as for many victims symptoms only appear when it has already fairly advanced.

(Agencies)

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