Deaths from ovarian cancer decline worldwide due to oral contraceptive use

Deaths from ovarian cancer fell worldwide between 2002 and 2012 and are predicted to continue to decline in the USA, ed European Union (EU) and, pilule though to a smaller degree, in Japan by 2020, according to new research published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology today.

The main reason is the use of oral contraceptives and the long-term protection against ovarian cancer that they provide, say the researchers, who are led by Professor Carlo La Vecchia (MD), from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan (Italy). They say the decline in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage menopausal symptoms and better diagnosis and treatment may also play a role.

Using data on deaths from ovarian cancer from 1970 to the most recent available year from the World Health Organization, the researchers found that in the 28 countries of the EU (minus Cyprus due to the unavailability of data) death rates decreased by 10% between 2002 and 2012, from an age standardised death rate per 100,000 women of 5.76 to 5.19.

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