A woman's risk of cervical cancer doubles after 10 years on birth control pills, a new study shows, but the risk begins to return to normal immediately after she stops taking them, the LA Times reports. The new research shows that the increase is both minor and "outweighed by reduced risks for ovarian and womb cancer," says the study leader.
The results should "reassure women that fear of cervical cancer should not be a reason not to take oral contraception," says another expert. The new research looked at more than 52,000 women who were part of 24 studies. The principle cause of cervical cancer is the human papillomavirus; increased use of the HPV vaccine is expected to reduce the cancer's incidence.