Ovarian Cancer

Headshot of Jacqueline Fox, lead plaintiff in a case against Johnson and Johnson
Courtesy Beasley, Allen Law Firm

Johnson & Johnson has suffered a major courtroom defeat in the first in a wave of lawsuits claiming that talc products marketed by the company for feminine hygiene use caused ovarian cancer.

A jury in St. Louis late Monday night ordered the health care products giant to pay $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, Ala. She died of ovarian cancer in October at the age of 62 after years of using the company’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene.

St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness president Lisa Sienkiewicz stands next to the Kiener Fountain in downtown St. Louis, which has been dyed teal in honor of National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
Durrie Bouscaren / St. Louis Public Radio

To kick off National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, local organizers dyed the water in the Kiener Plaza Fountain in downtown St. Louis teal -- the trademark color of the awareness campaign.

Sometimes called the ‘silent killer,’ ovarian cancer can be difficult to recognize before it’s in an advanced stage.

The rate of survival is low: 20,593 American women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. 14,346 women died, according to the Center for Disease Control. But treatments are most effective when the cancer is diagnosed in its earliest stages.