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women who take the contraceptive pill are a third less likely to develop these cancers



Women who take the contraceptive pill are ‘a third less likely’ to develop these cancers

The pill has previously been found to raise the chances of breast and cervical cancer, but new research found the risk of other cancers is decreased
TAKING the pill cuts a woman’s risk of some cancers by a third for at least 30 years, a major study reveals.
Experts found users saw their chances of womb and ovarian cancer slashed by around 34 per cent.
Around 3.5 million women in the UK take some form of oral contraceptive
And their likelihood of developing bowel cancer also fell by 19 per cent for the next three decades after they stopped taking the oral contraceptive.
Experts said the findings – from the longest-running study of its kind in the world – should reassure millions of women.
The pill has previously been found to raise the chances of breast and cervical cancer.
But the British study, started in 1968 and involving 46,000 women, found this increased risk wears off five years after users stop the hormone-based drugs.
On average, women  took the pill for around four years.

Lead researcher, Dr Lisa Iversen, from Aberdeen University said: “If you have used the pill during your reproductive life, you will get this protective effect.
“What we found from looking at up to 44 years’ worth of data, was that women are less likely to get colorectal, endometrial and ovarian cancer.
“So 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.”
The study is published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Around 3.5 million women in the UK take some form of oral contraceptive.
The most common contains a combination of two hormones – oestrogen and progesterone—works by fooling the body into thinking it’s pregnant and prevents the ovaries releasing eggs.
Scientists say this reduced activity may explain the drop in ovarian cancer risk.
Another theory is the hormones in the pill limit cell growth and division, which can result in mutations that trigger cancer.
Women who take the pill have a 34 per cent less chance of developing ovarian cancer
Around 18,000 women a year are diagnosed with bowel cancer, a further 9,000 womb cancer and 7,400 with ovarian.
Emma Shields, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Previous large studies have shown that the pill reduces the risk of ovarian and womb cancer but increases the risk of cervical and breast cancer.
“But, we also know that once a woman stops using the pill these increased risks start to fall back down while the reduced risk of ovarian and womb cancer continues.”
Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Millions of women worldwide who use the combined oral contraceptive pill should be reassured that they are not at increased risk of cancer as a result – and that taking the pill might actually decrease their risk of certain cancers.”
And Annwen Jones, head of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “This study should significantly alter how we view the risks and benefits of the contraceptive pill, given the strong new evidence showing that it protects women from ovarian cancer for much longer than previously thought.”
In a separate study, women carrying extra weight around their waist were found to have an increased risk of womb cancer.
Researchers writing in the British Medical Journal found a higher waist to hip ratio raised chances of the disease.
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