Oral Contraception and Cancer
Are you worried about possible links between oral contraception and cancer? Hundreds of millions of women around the world are wondering the same.
Today, it is estimated that up to 150 million women use this contraceptive method on a daily basis, so we would like to know if there might be a possible association between oral contraception and cancer.
We’ve got some good news from a study published in 2017 from a group of scientists at Aberdeen University published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
A really long study if you consider that 46,022 women who were recruited to the UK Royal College of General Practitioners’ Oral Contraception Study in 1968 and 1969 were observed for up to 44 years.
Results show that women who have taken the oral contraceptive pill are protected from some types of cancer for as long as thirty years. Using a contraceptive pill makes women less likely to get colorectal, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
It looks like the protective benefits from using the pill during their reproductive years are lasting for at least 30 years after women have stopped using the pill (Reference 1).
But a study funded from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and through the Group Health Breast Cancer Surveillance Registry, suggests that recent use of oral contraceptive is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, which may vary by the type of pill formula used (Reference 2).
Obviously more study needs to be done to confirm this negative association between using the pill and breast cancer.
On the other hand we need to take into consideration the health benefits and potential risks in taking oral contraceptive. Increased risk of breast cancer versus reproductive planning, menstrual regulation and decreased risk of benign breast conditions.
We do a lot at our practice in Edinburgh to fight cancer through diet. Check our Fighting Cancer SERIES for more information or book a FREE pre-consultation to discuss your health concerns.