Birth Control Pills: Good News
In addition, while oral contraceptives do increase the risk of breast cancer, the researchers found that the risk is small and transitory. This information comes from health data on 256,661 British women born between 1939 and 1970. More than 80 percent of them used birth control pills. The study showed that these women had a 32 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer and a 28 percent reduced risk of ovarian cancer compared to their non-using peers. Both of those reduced risks persisted for life, researchers reported. While using birth control is widely recognized to increase the risk of some forms of breast cancer, Senior author Asa Johansson of Sweden’s Uppsala University noted that ovarian cancer is deadlier and hard to treat, while the mortality rate for breast cancer is lower. She added that women who have a close relative who died from ovarian cancer might make one decision about birth control pills and “if you had a relative who died from breast cancer you might make another”.
Asa Johansson et al, “Time-dependent effects of oral contraceptive use on breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers,” December 17, 2020, cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2020/12/15/0008-5472.CAN-20-2476], DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2476
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