Along with an increased risk of developing breast cancer from modern birth control pills, the study also demonstrated that these effects are surprisingly long-lasting.
Women who took the birth control pill for five years had an elevated risk of developing cancer for as long as another five years after they had stopped taking the drugs. Researchers also say the cancer risk is higher the longer a woman uses the pills.
A patient who takes the pill for one year has just a seven percent increase in their risk of developing breast cancer, while a 10-year user has a 38 percent higher risk.
While the study wasn't able to compare all types of hormonal contraceptives, researchers warned that Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) which release progestin were also shown to increase a patient's cancer risk.
But doctors still say there's a silver lining to these findings: despite an increased risk of breast cancer and heart disease, using birth control pills has been shown to lower a patient's risk of other cancers, including digestive system and ovarian cancer.
Researchers say that despite the new study, there's still a "net cancer benefit" to taking the pills. While patients should know the risks associated with birth control pills, doctors say they're still safe.
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