Research on Chemical Methods – The Pill

I. PILL USE TRIPLES CERVICAL CANCER RISK A study by the World Health Organization (WHO), published online (27Mar02) in the prestigious British medical journal, The Lancet, found that women who use the oral contraceptive pill for more than five years could triple their risk of developing cervical cancer. The study examined the history of 3,769 women in 8 countries who had HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), an STD (STI) present in about 99% of all cases of cervical cancer. Since most women who have HPV do not develop cervical cancer, scientists believe there must be co-factors involved. Researchers at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of WHO, pooled data in 8 control studies to compare 1,853 with HPV and cervical cancer with 1,916 with HPV but no cancer, and asked about their birth control practices. They found that women with HPV who take the pill for less than five years do not significantly increase their risk of developing cervical cancer. However, those who are on the pill for longer than five years are nearly three times as likely to develop the disease. Those who take it for more than 10 years quadruple their risk. Moreover, the increased danger persisted for more than 15 years, even if a woman stopped taking the pill. About one percent of women will develop cervical cancer. Long-term pill use raises the odds to three or four percent, according to the WHO findings.   About 13,000 American women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer this year, and it will kill about 4,100. Worldwide, approximately 200,000 women die of cervical cancer. It is the...