After decades of conflicting evidence about the possible link between talc powder in the genital area and ovarian cancer, the largest study conducted to date has found no strong connection between the two. While called "overall reassuring" in an editorial, researchers caution that the study was "underpowered" to identify a small increase in risk — because not many of the more than 250,000 women in the study developed ovarian cancer — and that some subgroups might show a possible link. More research is needed to confirm this possible association, they said. The study, "Association of Powder Use in the Genital Area With Risk of Ovarian Cancer," and its accompanying editorial were published in JAMA. Some people use powder on their genitals to help control moisture and odors. The most commonly used products, such as talcum or baby powder, contain the mineral talc. Talc has some similarities to asbestos, exposure to which has been shown to increase cancer risk. Concerns about a link between talc and ovarian cancer first arose in the 1970s, when a small study detected talc particles embedded in ovarian tumor tissue. Since then, thousands of U.S. lawsuits have been filed by women claiming talc use caused their ovarian cancer. But the data so far have been inconclusive. The new study is, according to the researchers, "the largest study of this topic to date." It included data from 252,745 women, median 57 years old, collected from four large databases: the Nurses’ Health Study, Nurses’ Health Study II, Sister Study, and Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. This included data on the use of genital powder, though exactly how that data was collected varied among the four databases, which was a limitation acknowledged by the researchers.