Contraceptive pills significantly reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, even after women cease treatment.
Approximately 55,000 women in the U.S. are affected by endometrial cancer, or womb or uterine cancer, as it is also known. The estimates come from the American Cancer Society, which also underlines that 75 percent of endometrial cancer are diagnosed in women over 55, while it is rarely found in women aged 45 or less.
Also, contraceptive pills represent the favorite form of birth control around the U.S. The new study thus bears good news for those already on the pill, regarding its long-term effects. It is unclear what causes the risk rate drop, yet researchers believe that the levels of progestin and estrogen in the pill inhibit the development of endometrial cancer.
Doctor Nick Wentzensen of the National Cancer Institute, declared for the Medical Daily:
“We know that factors that reduce the number of ovulations during a woman’s lifetime are associated with a reduced risk of both uterine and ovarian cancers”.
The study gathered data from 36 previous studies involving a total of 27,276 women. For women who did not interrupt the contraceptive pill treatment for a period of 10 years, the risk of developing endometrial cancer was calculated at 1.3 percent. By comparison, women who did not take contraceptive pills had a 2.3 percent risk rate.
Overall, for every five years, the risk of developing endometrial cancer dropped by 24 percent. The long-term effects were also taken into account. The research team found that for women who took the contraceptive pill for 10 to 15 years, the risk reduced by almost 50 percent, and remained at this rate 30 years after treatment was ceased.
As a result, the team calculated that long-term use of the contraceptive pill prevented the development of endometrial cancer in approximately 200,000 cases over a 10-year timeframe.
Professor Valerie Beral of Oxford University’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit declared:
“People used to worry that the pill might cause cancer, but in the long-term, the pill reduced the risk of getting cancer”.
However, researchers recommend that thorough consultation with a physician is followed in case women are not using the contraceptive pill but would like to. This birth control method is certainly not recommended for everyone, despite its beneficial effects for certain groups.
Strict medical supervision is recommended.
Photo Credits: telegraph.co.uk