A recent study conducted with the help of 300,000 European women found that females who take the pill for 10 years cut their chance of developing ovarian cancer in half.
Published this week in the British Journal of Cancer the study confirms earlier findings in 2008 that “every use” of the pill adds a protective layer.
According to the new study’s authors women who take an oral contraceptive pill are 15 percent less likely to develop ovarian cancer than women who have never taken the pill. The study also found that women who have taken the pill for a decade or more are 45% less likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Researchers warn that it’s important that women weigh the risks of taking the pill against family history. For example while a family history of ovarian cancer may put you at risk, the pill has also been linked to increased breast cancer cases which may run in your family.
Dr. James Speyer, medical director of the NYU Langone Clinical Cancer Center told ABCNews:
With a growing amount of genetic information becoming available, Speyer said, “we may be better able to determine which women gain a greater protective effect from oral contraceptives and which do not. Coupled with other risk factors and family history, we will be better able to advise patients in the future.”
Ovarian cancer is a very deadly form of the disease, in the United States 22,000 women will be diagnosed in 2011 and 15,460 women will die. According to the National Cancer Institute 93% of women who catch their ovarian cancer before it spreads outside of the ovary will survive for at least 5-years.
In other news researchers found that getting pregnant with a first child cuts ovarian risk by 29 percent while each subsequent full-term pregnancy cuts the risk by an additional 8 percent.
Are you surprised to learn that taking the pill and having babies can be so effective in fending off the attacks from ovarian cancer?