Birth control pills have always been controversial. These are chemicals that play with hormones in a woman’s body and many times they do more harm than good. Mood swings, weight gain, body hair and the list can continue with the side effects they bring. But apart from that, birth control pills offer protection against endometrial cancer, a new study suggests.
Women who use oral contraceptives during their reproductive years may gain long term protection against endometrial cancer, as a review of previous research highlights.
To come up with the findings, researchers have analyzed 36 studies, including more than 140.000 women from around the world. According to their analyss, every five years of taking birth control pills was linked to a 24% reduction in the risk for endometrial cancer. The positive effect continues even after more than three decades of contraceptive treatment.
Oral contraceptives usually contain man-made versions of the natural female hormones estrogen and progesterone. Previous research has already linked the pills to ovarian tumors and now endometrial cancer seems to be avoided through oral contraceptives intake. On the other hand, women who take oral contraceptives expose themselves to risks of developing breast and cervical cancer, according to the US National Cancer Institute.
Good news are good news, in spite of the other implications. The more so rates of endometrial cancer are increasing in the US and black women appear to be more exposed at getting the most aggressive type of tumors and even die from the disease.
Researchers have analyzed cancer registry data from 2000 to 2011 and found incidence rates for endometrial tumors increased among the entire pool of racial and ethnic groups. For white women, the increase was less than 1% overall, compared to 1.8% for Hispanic women and 2.5% for Asian and black women.
When it comes to black women, survival rates were reported as diminished. Researchers have compared them to white women similar in age, tumor type and stage of cancer at the moment of diagnosis. After five years of study and analysis, researchers have concluded that the black women were 6% less likely to survive low-grade tumors and 59% less likely to survive aggressive malignancies.
There’s a chance of improvement, though, if women start taking oral contraceptives as a measure to fight potential endometrial malign tumors. As the previous research suggests, contraceptives do a great job in keeping female subjects away from the potentially fatal disease.
Image Source: pixabay.com