Birth control pills are revealed to have prevented hundreds of thousands of cancer-related cases, according to a new study published by The Lancet Journal.

The research found that 400,000 cases of endometrial cancer have been prevented over the past 50 years, while 200,000 were prevented over the past 10 years. Every five years of using oral birth control decreases risk by about a quarter, according to USA Today. The study also showed that the longer a woman uses this form of contraceptive, the more her risk declines and continues to be reduced even years after she stops taking the pill.

“The strong protective effect of oral contraceptives against endometrial cancer—which persists for decades after stopping the pill—means that women who use it when they are in their 20s or even younger continue to benefit into their 50s and older, when cancer becomes more common,” said University of Oxfords’s Valerie Beral, who led the study, reports Health.

While modern-day birth control contains less hormones than in previous decades, the study suggests that the lower dosage is still sufficient enough to reduce the risk of uterine cancer.


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