Contraceptive pill could reduce cancer risks

Taking the contraceptive pill does not increase a woman’s chances of developing cancer and may even reduce the risk for most women, according to a study of 46,000 patients.

However, there was an increased risk for women who used the pill for more than eight years, said the study published at BMJ Online First.

esearchers from the University of Aberdeen analysed data spanning a 36-year period from the RCGP Oral Contraception Study, which began in 1968.

They calculated the cancer risks using two sets of data. One related to cancers reported while the women were registered with their recruiting GP,  while the second dataset also included cancers notified by the central NHS registries after women had left their recruiting GP. 

In both data sets there was no overall increased risk of cancer among pill users. When the first dataset was used, women who had taken the pill at some time during their lives had a 3 per cent reduced risk of developing any cancer.

When the larger main dataset was used, the reduction was 12 per cent, equating to approximately one fewer case of cancer for every 2,200 women who had used the pill for a year.

The researchers said: ‘In this UK cohort, oral contraception was not associated with an overall increased risk of any cancer, indeed it may even produce a net public health gain.’

Comment below and tell us what you think 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Doctors call for test and trace millions to be diverted to primary care and local NHS

Doctors call for test and trace millions to be diverted to primary care and local NHS

Doctors have urged the government to divert hundreds of millions of pounds from the...

Hundreds of GPs a month seek mental health support as COVID-19 pressure bites

Hundreds of GPs a month seek mental health support as COVID-19 pressure bites

More than 200 GPs a month are seeking mental health support as COVID-19 drives up...

Viewpoint: GPs will be there for patients this winter, but at what cost?

Viewpoint: GPs will be there for patients this winter, but at what cost?

Rising to new challenges is in GPs' DNA and the profession has not let patients down...

Red flag symptoms: Diarrhoea

Red flag symptoms: Diarrhoea

The red flag symptoms that indicate potentially serious causes of diarrhoea in adults.

GPs to be told 'shortly' how they can reclaim PPE costs

GPs to be told 'shortly' how they can reclaim PPE costs

Information on how practices will be reimbursed for PPE costs incurred during the...

GPs demand support as COVID hotspots sound alarm over rising workload

GPs demand support as COVID hotspots sound alarm over rising workload

GP leaders have accused the government of 'behaving as if the second wave is an unexpected...