Birth control pill ups prostate cancer risk

A news study has found that use of the contraceptive pill appears to increase risk of prostate cancer around the globe. According to the researchers, prostate cancer is the most common male cancer in the developed world and the use of the contraceptive pill has soared over the past 40 years.

They then analysed the data for individual nations and continents worldwide to see if there was any link between use of the contraceptive pill and illness and death caused by prostate cancer. Their calculations showed that use of intrauterine devices, condoms, or other vaginal barriers was not associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer. But use of the contraceptive pill in the population as a whole was significantly associated with both the number of new cases of, and deaths from, prostate cancer in individual countries around the world, the analysis showed.

The researchers emphasise that their research is speculative and designed to prompt further consideration of the issues. As such, their analysis does not confirm cause and effect, and therefore definitive conclusions cannot be drawn, as yet. But they refer to several recent studies, which have suggested that oestrogen exposure may boost the risk of prostate cancer. Read more…

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