Researchers from the University of Aberdeen in the UK have just published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology the results of 44 years of follow up on 46,000 women who were classified as “ever” and “never” users of oral contraceptives. The purpose of the study was to assess the very long- term safety of these drugs, specifically cancer risks and benefits.
“These results from the longest-running study in the world into oral contraceptive use are reassuring. Specifically, pill users don’t have an overall increased risk of cancer over their lifetime and that the protective effects of some specific cancers last for at least 30 years. ” Dr Lisa Iversen, who led the research said according to BBC.
“What we found from looking at up to 44 years’ worth of data, was that having ever used the pill, women are less likely to get colorectal, endometrial and ovarian cancer,” she said. “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 BBC reported that the study found that the birth control pill could reduce some cancers’ risk by 30 percent.
This is especially timely encouraging news concerning reduced risk for ovarian cancer, as women have recently been discovering that they may have unknowingly been exposed to increased risk over their lifetime by the hygienic use of common household product talcum-based powders such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. This alleged ovarian cancer risk has been making headlines as women who have suffered from ovarian cancer have been suing Johnson and Johnson for not warning them of its talc products’ cancer risk. Three of four juries have found in favor of the women making these allegations and have awarded damages of $197 million against J&J and talc supplier Imerys Talc America.
A fifth trial is scheduled to begin in St. Louis on April 10.