Time-Dependent Effects of Oral Contraceptive Use on Breast, Ovarian, and Endometrial Cancers
Oral contraceptive use potentially reduces the risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers. In a recent study, Karlsson et al. (2021) studied the effects of long-term oral contraceptive use and cancer risk in 256,661 women from the
Oral contraceptive use potentially reduces the risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers.
The study results indicated that the risk of developing ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer was lower among women who used oral contraceptives, an effect that was further pronounced with longer use. The risk for breast cancer was also attenuated for women who used oral contraceptives; however, the effect was limited to users who discontinued after ≤2 years, whereas the protective association for ovarian and endometrial cancer remained significant for up to 35 years following discontinuation of oral contraceptive use.
The results suggest that oral contraceptives can dramatically reduce the risk for ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and breast cancer, although the lifetime protective effect for breast cancer may be limited. Patients should discuss the prospect of long-term contraceptive use with their physicians to make more informed decisions that incorporate both their specific health history and risk profile.
About Women’s Cancer Research Foundation The Women’s Cancer Research Foundation (WCRF) is one of Southern California’s and the nation’s most active research organizations for female cancers. We are dedicated to serving the interests of patients, families, and friends affected by women’s cancers. WCRF partners with physician-scientists nationally to make differences in women’s lives by offering hope, strength, and progress.
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