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Pill 'raises prostate cancer risk'

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Prostate cancer has been linked to the pill, which could prompt healthcare staff to advise their female patients to consider other forms of contraception.

A Canadian study, published in the British Medical Journal Open, revealed that prostate cancer rates were higher in countries where the pill is more widely used.

Forms of contraception that provide a physical rather than a chemical barrier, such as condoms or IUDs, did not heighten the risk of the disease, the researchers concluded.

They analysed two existing sets of data to pinpoint rates of prostate cancer and associated deaths and the proportion of women using common methods of contraception in 2007.

The researchers then specifically analysed data for different countries to successfully determine that there is a link between contraceptive pill use and illness and death caused by prostate cancer.

It also emerged that men could have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer in countries were use of the pill is prevalent, regardless of how affluent the country they live in is.

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