Could birth control pills be linked to an increased incidence of prostate cancer around the world? That’s the provocative question being raised in new research published this week in BMJ Open.
Dr. Neil Fleshner, a urologic oncologist and researcher at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, says he and his co-author had long wondered why men in North America and Europe develop and die of prostate cancer more often than men in other countries.
“For years, there’s been concern that perhaps maybe pesticide exposure or some kind of compound in our food or water supply may be responsible for prostate cancer,” he says.
So he and his team reviewed data from the United Nations World Contraceptive Use report, looking at contraceptive use among women around the world.
They found that the use of IUDs (intrauterine devices), condoms, and other vaginal barriers were not linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, but the use of the birth control pills was significantly associated with both a country’s number of new cases of prostate cancer and deaths from prostate cancer…. (Source)