Saturday, January 26, 2008

Birth Control Pill Also Reduces Cancer Risks, That Is If You Can Get It

A new study reports that women who used the birth control pill for extended periods of time not only reduced unwanted pregnancies but also greatly reduce their chances of getting ovarian cancer, even decades after they stop taking it.
"Not only does the pill prevent pregnancy, but in the long term, you actually get less cancer as well," said Valerie Beral, the study's lead author and director of the Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University. "It's a nice bonus." The study was paid for by Cancer Research UK and Britain's Medical Research Council.
The results are amazing:
According to the study, a woman's ovarian cancer risk is cut by 20 percent for every five years she is on the pill. Researchers tracked women who had never taken the pill to those who had taken it for more than 15 years. They found that even 30 years after women had stopped taking the pill, they still had about a 15 percent reduced risk of getting ovarian cancer, compared to women who had never taken oral contraceptives.

The experts estimated that use of the pill so far has prevented about 200,000 cases of ovarian cancer and 100,000 deaths from the disease. Based on current levels of oral contraceptive usage, they guessed that 30,000 cases could be avoided every year.
Too bad that might not mean much to some in South Dakota unless SB164 passes making sure pharmacists cannot refuse to dispense legally prescribed birth control because of "moral" objections.

Shouldn't this be about the best interests of the patient as determined by their discussions with their doctor and not by their pharmacists personal beliefs? As with the HPV vaccine flap from last year, heaven forbid we do something to help women when it is in anyway related to sex even when the side effects are as positive as this new study would suggest.

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