Oral contraceptives may ovarian cancer risk

October 27, 2011 2:27:29 PM PDT
A new report in the British Journal of Cancer shows that women taking oral contraceptives for 10 years or more cut their risk of ovarian cancer in half.

Researchers studied more than 300,000 women. Those on the pill for at least 10 years were almost 50 percent less likely to get ovarian cancer.

However, women on the pill run a higher risk of breast cancer. For example, if 100,000 women use oral contraceptives a decade or more, there would be 50 additional cases of breast cancer over what would have otherwise occurred. But there would be 12 fewer incidents of ovarian cancers. And those cancers can be more difficult to detect.

Women have to weigh the risks.