A new study reports the birth control pill has prevented over 400,000 cases of cancer in the last 50 years.
A pill a day may keep the cancer away. A new study has found that the oral contraceptive popularly known as the “birth control pill” has been preventing womb cancer in women for decades.
As the Telegraph reports, Oxford University researchers looked at data from 36 studies involving 143,000 women. They found concrete trends of what researchers had always suggested: taking the pill reduced the likelihood of developing endometrial cancer.
The study estimated that long-term pill usage decreased cancer risk. For every 5 years that a woman takes the pill, her chances of developing endometrial cancer decreases by 25%. Women who take the pill for over a decade have their risk lowered from 2.3 per 100 people to 1.3 per 100 people.
All in all, researchers indicated that pill usage had prevented 400,000 cases of endometrial cancer over the last 50 years, including 200,000 simply within the last decade. Lead researcher Valerie Beral reported that, “People used to worry that the pill might cause cancer, but in the long term the pill reduces the risk.”
As Reuters summarizes, the study found that the effects of taking the pill last even after the woman has stopped taking it. Beral said, “The strong protective effect of oral contraceptives against endometrial cancer—which persists for decades after stopping the pill—means that women who use it when they are in their 20s or even younger continue to benefit into their 50s and older.”
A pill for many purposes, indeed.