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WHO links long term pill use to cervical cancer

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7341.808/a (Published 06 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:808
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. London

    A study carried out by the World Health Organization has produced the first compelling evidence of a long suspected link between the contraceptive pill and cervical cancer. The research, carried out by the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that prolonged use of the oral contraceptive pill increased the risk of cervical cancer up to fourfold, but only in women who carry the human papillomavirus (HPV).

    The agency's Multicentric Cervical Cancer Study Group reviewed eight studies from Thailand, the Philippines, Morocco, Brazil, Peru, Paraguay, Colombia, and Spain. Their results are published in last week's Lancet (2002;359:1085-92). Women who had taken the pill for 5-9 years were nearly three times more likely than non-users to develop cervical …

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