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Ovarian and endometrial cancer are protected by oral contraceptive tablets.

Oral contraceptive use protects against ovarian and endometrial cancer, according to a large study conducted by Uppsala University involving over 250,000 women. The preventive effect lasts for decades after the drug is no longer used. Cancer Research is the publication where the research was published.

With a lifetime risk of little over 2%, ovarian and endometrial malignancies are among the most prevalent gynaecological cancers. Endometrial cancer is slightly more common, but the fatality rate is low since it has clearer symptoms and is thus generally discovered at an early stage. Ovarian cancer, on the other hand, is one of the deadliest tumours because it is typically not identified until it has spread to other parts of the body.

In the 1960s, the first oral contraceptive pill was allowed, and 80 percent of all women in Western Europe have used oral contraceptives at some point in their lives. Oral contraceptives contain synthetic versions of the female sex hormones oestrogen and progestin. Oral contraceptives contain oestrogen and progestin, which prevent ovulation and so pregnancy.

The researchers examined the incidence of breast, ovarian, and endometrial malignancies in women who had used oral contraceptive pills to women who had never used them.

"It was obvious that women who used oral contraceptive pills had a much decreased incidence of ovarian and endometrial cancer. The risk was around 50% decreased fifteen years after stopping using oral contraceptives. However, a reduced risk was identified up to 30-35 years after the drug was stopped "One of the study's key researchers, Anders Johansson of Uppsala University's Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, states.

Oral contraceptive pills, on the other hand, have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in the past.

"We discovered just a tiny increased risk of breast cancer among oral contraceptive users, and the higher risk vanished within a few years after cessation," Johansson adds. "Our findings imply that even if there is a higher short-term risk, the lifetime risk of breast cancer may not differ between ever and never users."

The new study's findings are significant because oral contraceptive use has been linked to serious side effects such as deep vein thrombosis and breast cancer.

"Oral contraceptive tablets have been demonstrated to provide additional benefits in addition to preventing conception. Our findings may help women and doctors make better decisions about which women should use oral contraceptives."

Publish in journal:

Karlsson T, Johansson T, Höglund T, Ek W, Johansson Å. Time-dependent effects of oral contraceptive use on breast, ovarian and endometrial cancers. Cancer Research, 2020 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-2476

Due to stress, lesbian and bisexual women may be more likely to develop diabetes.

Researchers discovered that lesbian and bisexual (LB) women were more likely than heterosexual women to develop type 2 diabetes throughout the length of a 24-year study follow-up in a newly published study comprising 94,250 women from across the United States.

Heather L. Corliss, a professor at San Diego State University's Graduate School of Public Health, led the co-authored study, which looked at the incidence of type 2 diabetes in lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual women in a large, longitudinal U.S. cohort.

Corliss and her colleagues published their findings in Diabetes Care this month in an article titled "Risk of Type 2 Diabetes Among Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Women: Findings from the Nurses' Health Study II."

The researchers evaluated survey results from women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study II, which is one of the largest examinations into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women, dating back to 1989.
From 1989 to 2013, all women between the ages of 24 and 44 were assessed every other year for a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in order to determine incidence. The women self-identified their sexual orientation, with 1,267 declaring themselves lesbian or bisexual and 92,983 declaring themselves heterosexual. Self-reported clinician diagnosis was used to assess diabetes.

Corliss and her colleagues discovered that lesbian and bisexual women had a 27 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes than heterosexual women during a 24-year period. In 2013, 6,399 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, with lesbian and bisexual women having a 22 percent increased risk.
Lesbian and bisexual women developed type 2 diabetes at a younger age than heterosexual women, according to the researchers, and a higher BMI in lesbian and bisexual women was a major factor to the discrepancies discovered.

"Given LB women's much higher chance of having type 2 diabetes before the age of 50 years, and their potentially longer duration of living with type 2 diabetes, LB women may also be more likely to encounter complications than heterosexual women," the researchers noted in the report.
Previous research on the risk of type 2 diabetes among lesbian and bisexual women has been inconsistent, according to Corliss, with some studies finding differences between heterosexual and lesbian and bisexual women, while others showed no differences.

"Despite inconclusive findings, there is reason to suspect that LB women may have disparities in chronic physical health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, because they are more likely than heterosexual women to have risk factors such as obesity, tobacco smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and stress-related exposures," the researchers wrote.
Here, stress is a crucial factor to consider. Lesbian and bisexual women were reportedly more stressed by discrimination, violence victimisation, and psychological discomfort, according to the researchers, and these characteristics may contribute to greater incidence of health-related concerns for those individuals.

"While behavioural factors such as physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and nutritional intake are important, concentrating on these factors alone may not be enough to erase LB women's chronic illness disparities," the authors explained.

Increased public health and clinical initiatives to prevent, identify, and manage obesity and type 2 diabetes among lesbian and bisexual women, as well as improved access to care, are critical needs, according to Corliss and her colleagues.

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