December 26, 2005

The Pill doesn’t affect cervical pre-cancer risk

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women with certain types of
human papilloma virus (HPV) infection run the risk of
developing CIN -- cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, a type of
pre-cancer. However, contrary to previous concerns, their risk
is not affected if they use hormonal contraceptives, or by
their history of pregnancy and childbearing, researchers have

Previous studies have suggested an increased risk of CIN
with long-term oral contraceptive use and having more than one
child, the investigators explain in the International Journal
of Cancer, but such studies did not account for the possible
confounding effect of cancer-related HPV infection.

Dr. Philip E. Castle from National Cancer Institute,
Bethesda, Maryland and colleagues investigated the development
of CIN in young women who tested positive for these types of
HPV and had minimally abnormal Pap smears.

Among these women, the likelihood of finding CIN was no
higher for current or former oral contraceptive users than for
those who had never used the Pill, the team reports.

There was a marginal association with CIN and the current
use of injectable or former Norplant use.

The number of pregnancies and children a woman had were not
associated with being infected with the cancer-related strains
of HPV, or with CIN in those who did have these infections, the
researchers note.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, December 20, 2005.