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Oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

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A recent study show that oral contraceptives can reduce a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, even if she stopped taking them 20 years ago.

According to the study’s author Cristina Bosetti and colleagues of the Instituto de Ricerche Farmacologiche in Milan, although it has been known for some time that birth control pills offer protection against ovarian cancer, it has not been clear how long protection lasts once a woman stops taking the drugs.

‘The persistence of long-term protection from oral contraceptives against ovarian cancer has major implications for individual risk assessment and for public health since the incidence of ovarian cancer rises with age and the disease is over 10-fold more frequent at age 60 than at age 30,’ the researchers write.

The study included reanalysing six previous studies conducted from 1978 to 1999 in the UK, Greece and Italy that involved 2,768 women with ovarian cancer and 6,274 women without the disease all under the age of 70.

Women who had ever taken oral contraceptives had a 34% lower risk of ovarian cancer than those who never used them. Those who took the Pill the longest benefited the most with those who took them for less that 5 years having a 17% reduced risk compared to those who took them for 5 or more years having a 58% reduced risk.

‘The present analysis, conducted on the largest data set to date of ovarian cancer, confirms the beneficial effect of oral contraceptives on ovarian cancer and the stronger protection provided by a long duration of use,’ Bosetti and colleagues write.

(Source: ASCO)

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Posted On: 29 November, 2002
Modified On: 3 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC