Oral Contraceptives and Cervical Cancer
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.