As if you needed another reason to support a pro-choice, pro-contraception, pro-female health candidate in the upcoming election (not to mention in local races which are nearly as important), a 40-year study has concluded that taking the birth control pill cuts long-term risk of cancer — cancer of any kind, that is — by up to 12%. The study, conducted by British researchers, followed 46,000 women beginning in 1968, and concludes that though taking the pill increases the risk of breast cancer while you take it and for about five years after you stop, the real cancer preventative benefits kick in 15+ years after cessation of usage.
Because most women who take the pill start taking it in their teens and early 20's, usually stopping in their late 20's when cancer is less common, the majority of women will see this cancer-fighting benefit. Additionally, the study shows that women who take the pill for eight years or less (as most women do), are no more likely to get breast cancer than other women, and also have a significantly less risk of developing endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer. However, ladies who've been popping the pill for longer than eight years, do take note — doing so does increase your risk of cervical cancer. Considering about 24% of women aged 16-49 are on the pill, all of this is seriously important for Jezebel's readership, not to mention, you know, us.