CERVICAL CANCER AND IUDs: WHAT A NEW STUDY FINDS

Posted on September 13, 2011

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A study in Spain found that women who use contraceptive intrauterine devices are about half as likely to develop cervical cancer.

Although findings are still preliminary, the research reassures women that using these devices (also known as coils) carry no added risk of cervical cancer.

Previous studies have found that IUDs can protect women from endometrial cancer.

Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, with about a half million new cases and a quarter million deaths each year (World Health Organization).

After analyzing data from 20,000 women, researchers found that IUD users had lower rates of two major forms of cervical cancer: squamous cell carcinoma (44% lower) and adenocarcinoma/adenosquamous carcinoma (54% lower).

Researchers suggest that inserting and removing an IUD may destroy precancerous cells or prompts an inflammation which makes one immune to the progression of HPV infection to cervical cancer.

This study is published in The Lancet Oncology journal.

Cervical cancer was once the leader cancer death in women in the U.S. However, advancements in medicine have made the disease less deadly.

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