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Pill "doubles cervical cancer risk"

New research claims that women who take the contraceptive pill can double their risk of developing cervical cancer.

But the study also found that the chance of the disease drops to normal levels 10 years after women stop using the drug.

The scientists found that people who have been on the pill for five years or more are twice as likely to develop cancer as those who have never tried it.

It follows a report from the University of Ghent, detailed on, that found long-term use of oral contraceptive tablets may up the chances of women suffering artery build-ups that can cause heart disease.

Dr Jane Green, from Oxford University, conducted the latest research, which is published in The Lancet.

She wrote: "The incidence of cervical cancer increases with age and so the contribution of hormonal contraceptives to the lifetime incidence of cervical cancer will depend largely on the effects at older ages, when most women are past users."

Cancer expert Professor Ciaran Woodman, from the University of Birmingham, added: "In the UK we are fortunate that we have a well organised screening programme and that deaths from cervical cancer are still falling.

"The take-home message should be that all women must come for screening when invited."

The Lancet

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