The contraceptive pill offers long-term protection against endometrial cancer, according to research from Oxford University. The protective effect persists for decades, meaning that women who use the Pill in their 20s continue to benefit into their 50s.
Endometrial cancer is most common among women over the age of 45, and 3 in every 4 cases are diagnosed among women aged 55 and older. The researchers calculated that the risk of endometrial cancer reduces by around 25 per cent for every five years of birth control pill use.
The link between use of the Pill and reduced risk of cancer does not appear to be influenced by women’s reproductive history, body fat, alcohol or smoking.
In addition, despite oestrogen doses in birth control pills decreasing over the past 50 years, women who used the pill in 1980s – when oestrogen doses were less than half what they were 20 years earlier – experienced the same reduction in endometrial cancer as those who used the Pill in the 1960s.