Are oral contraceptives a method of preventing certain types of cancer?

Scientists have found that taking oral contraceptives reduces the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer. About the results of a study published in the journal Cancer Research.

Swedish scientists have studied the medical data of more than 250 thousand women born from 1939 to 1970. The researchers compared the incidence of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers among women who used oral contraception and those who never took hormonal contraceptives. About 80% of the study participants used oral contraceptives for an average of 10 years.

It turned out that in women who took oral contraceptives, the risk of endometrial cancer decreased by 32%, and the risk of ovarian cancer — by 28%.

“The results of the study that the use of contraceptives (oral) protects against endometrial and ovarian cancer are confirmed by earlier work. However, the additional information that the risk reduction is fixed for 35 years after stopping taking contraceptives is new” said Veriwell Marina Stasenko, an oncologist-gynecologist at the cancer center at New York University Langone Medical Center.

A study has shown a link between taking hormonal drugs and reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancer. However, scientists have already suggested that the basis of such protection may be the suppression of ovulation.

oral contraceptives

In addition, scientists say that taking contraceptives can lead to breast cancer. Previous studies have shown a link between birth control pills and an increased risk of breast cancer. However, the risks were small and decreased after discontinuation of the drugs. The present study of scientists also confirmed the results of earlier works. Experts found that the use of oral contraceptives led to a slight increase in the risk of breast cancer. The risk gradually began to decrease about eight years after the women stopped taking contraceptives.

Scientists emphasize that the patient should make a decision about the use of oral contraceptives only after consulting with a doctor. At the same time, it is necessary to calculate the individual risk from taking drugs, take into account the predisposition to cancer and comorbidity.

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