Women who have used oral contraceptives may have a lower risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
Oral contraceptives are known to be associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. However, a new study in Cancer Research suggests that the increased risk is small and short-lived. At the same time, the researchers found that the reduced risk of ovarian and uterine lining cancer is significant and long-lasting.
The analysis included health data through 2019 from 256,661 women born in the UK between 1939 and 1970. More than 80 percent of the women had used oral contraceptives.
After adjusting for many other health and behavioral characteristics, the scientists found that women who used oral contraceptives had a 32 percent reduced risk of endometrial cancer and a 28 percent reduced risk of having, compared to women who had not used them Had ovarian cancer. These reduced risks persisted for life.
"Ovarian cancer is fatal and difficult to treat," said senior author Asa Johansson, an assistant professor at Uppsala University in Sweden. “The death rate for breast cancer is lower. If you have a close relative who died from ovarian cancer, then you can make a decision about oral contraceptives. If you have one that died of breast cancer, you could do another. "
In any case, she said, "I don't think we can give advice. People should be made aware of the risks and benefits and make their own decisions."