Women using the contraceptive pill have no overall increased risk of cancer, according to a major UK study.
A slightly increased risk of cervix and breast cancer is balanced out by protection from other cancers in the long term, according to researchers at Aberdeen University.
The Royal College of General Practitioners' oral contraception study began in 1968 and recruited 23,000 women who used the pill and 23,000 who never used it.
Data was compiled from the GP records of the women, although many of them were lost to follow-up. Figures showed a reduction of between 12% or 3% in overall cancer relative risk.
The authors, led by professor Philip Hannaford, said: 'In our study oral contraception was not associated with a significantly increased risk of any cancer.'