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Pill Poses Little Cervical Cancer Risk
Date:11/9/2007

.8 cases per 1,000 women (without Pill use) to 4.5 per 1,000 women after using oral contraception. In less developed countries, where access to cervical cancer screening is more limited, that risk rises from 7.3 to 8.3 cases per 1,000 women, the researchers estimated.

Similar risk was seen for invasive and localized cancer and in women who have the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes about 70 percent of all cervical cancers, Green noted.

Although the risk for cervical cancer associated with the Pill is small, Green advised women to still be screened for the disease. "Screening for cervical cancer is effective," she said. "The advice is to go for regular screenings."

Eventually, Green hopes that the vaccination against the human papillomavirus will go a long way to preventing many cases of cervical cancer.

One expert agreed that the findings showed the risk for cervical cancer from oral contraceptives was very small.

"This is reassuring news for women," said Dr. Peter Sasieni, from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London and author of an accompanying journal comment. "There is really a minimal risk from oral contraceptives, and that risk disappears fairly soon when you stop taking them," he said.

"When making a decision about what from of contraception to use, women shouldn't worry about cervical cancer," Sasieni concluded. "It's not an issue," he said.

However, he believes that taking oral contraceptives is another good reason to get screened regularly for the disease. "By going for regular screenings, a women can reduce her risk by 80 percent," Sasieni said.

Another expert agreed that women shouldn't worry about the Pill and cervical cancer risk.

"I don't think women are basing their decision of which form of contraception to use on the risk for cervical cancer," said Debbie Saslow, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the
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