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Oral Contraceptives and Cervical Cancer

November 11, 2007

Last week, I posted to Our Bodies Our Blog about a preliminary finding on oral contraceptives and heart disease, and how women probably shouldn’t panic because there’s no need to immediately ditch their pills. The Blog That Ate Manhattan (a 20-year gynecology veteran) has a similar “don’t panic” message about a new meta-analysis on oral contraceptives and cervical cancer:

Because the risk is really small. How small? Well, if you live in a developed country (meaning you have access to Pap smears), use of the pill for 10 years increases your chance of having cervical cancer from 3.8 per 1,000 to 4.5 per 1,000.

TBTAM makes this very important point about the analysis: “The other big factor may be that women taking the pill may use condoms less frequently, thus making them more likely to get HPV.” The analysis did attempt to look at “ever” and “never” condom use, but couldn’t really say whether women on the pill were using barrier methods that would reduce risk less frequently.

Very good perspective over there – check it out.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 13, 2007 3:36 pm

    Thats really interesting, I myself was apprehensive about birth control because of the side effects. Since we are on the discussion of Cancer, I wanted to mention that I’m a community ambassador for Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which is sponsoring a program called the Million Inch Chain. It’s a way for women to gather in support by donating their hair to help women who are battling cancer. If you know of any women who are in need of wigs are who interested in donating their hair, check out http://www/beautifullengths.com/en_US/million_inch/million_inch_qa.jsp . It’s an important effort in improving the lives of so many women!

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