Scientists opine that taking the contraceptive pill over a short period may reduce a woman's chances of getting cancer . Yet, taking it for too long may increase the risk.
The study published in the British Medical Journal says that women who take the Pill can have up to a 12 percent lower risk of developing the disease. Yet, the same research also showed women who used the pill for more than eight years - a quarter of those in the study - had a significantly higher risk of developing cancer.
AdvertisementThe researchers from the University of Aberdeen found those who took the contraceptive for shorter periods suffered from significantly lower rates of bowel and rectal cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. Additionally, up to 29 percent had a reduced risk of developing one of the main gynecological cancers.
Those who took the pill for more than eight years had an increased risk of developing all forms of cancer, particularly cervical and central nervous system cancer, they found. Previous studies have suggested earlier forms of the Pill - which was launched in 1961 - may have increased the risk of developing the disease.
Lead researcher Professor Phillip Hannaford of the University of Aberdeen was quoted: "These results show that in this UK cohort the contraceptive pill was not associated with an overall increased risk of any cancer, indeed it may produce an important net public health gain. "These findings will probably reassure most Pill users living in the UK and their doctors."
The research happens to be one of the largest detailed studies of the Pill in the world.