Summary: Long-term Use of Oral Contraceptives Increases the Risk of Certain Cancers

A study of oral contraceptive users found that long-term users (8+ years) had increased rates of cervical, central nervous system and pituitary cancer.

  • A study of UK women found that women who used oral contraceptives had an overall reduced risk of getting cancer, varying widely depending on which data set was observed. This includes cancers of the large bowl or rectum, uterus, ovaries, and other malignancies. However, for women who used oral contraceptives for more than eight years, their risk of developing cancer of the cervix, central nervous system, or pituitary gland was increased.1

1Cancer Risk Among Users of Oral Contraceptives: Cohort Data from the Royal College of General Practitioners Oral Contraception Study, British Medical Journal, 2007.

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