iud_lowers_risk_of_cervical_cancer.jpgCervical cancer is the second most common cancer that afflicts women in the Philippines, so the need to keep yourself informed on preventive measures is an important one. One such development was recently published by The Lancet Oncology. In the study, researchers discovered that using intrauterine devices (IUDs), a form of contraception, can decrease the risk of cervical cancer by half.

Dr. Xavier Castellsague and his colleagues examined preexisting data on 20,000 women in 14 countries, which was used to determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, different strains of which are responsible for causing cervical cancer. They found out that, while IUD users were just as likely to get HPV as other women, their risk of developing two types of cervical cancer decreased significantly: 44 percent lower for squamous-cell carcinoma and 54 percent for adenocarcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma. This was especially true for people who were in their first year of using IUDs, but the results were found to be stable over a period of 10 years.

Dr. Castellsague says this shows that IUD insertion itself is what helps stave off cancer. "IUDs are not inert devices," he is quoted as saying in a Reuters report. "Our speculation is that they act as a foreign body and stimulate inflammatory changes that prevent the HPV infection from persisting and progressing to more advanced stages."

For more about IUDs and cervical cancer, check out these articles:
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(Photo by Paupua via Wikimedia Commons)

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