The long-term use of oral contraceptives reduces the risk for ovarian and endometrial cancers.
According to a new study published in JAMA Oncology, compared with those who hadn’t used oral contraceptives, those who had used them for 10 years or more had a 34 per cent reduced risk for endometrial cancer, with the strongest reductions among women who were smokers or obese at the start of the study.
Contraceptive users had a 40 per cent risk reduction for ovarian cancer, with the risk reduction significant in smokers, the obese and those who got no regular exercise.
The study showed that the effect is especially evident in smokers, the obese and those who exercise infrequently.
The lead author, Kara A. Michels, an epidemiologist with the National Cancer Institute, said that most women are not thinking of cancer prevention when they start using oral contraceptives.