The death rate from ovarian cancer declined around the world between 2002 and 2012. This is because of the wide use of contraceptives pill, according to a new research. The decline in the long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to manage menopausal symptoms is another factor.
The study was published in journal Annals of Oncology on September 6, 2016. It was led by Professor Carlo La Vecchia (MD) from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan (Italy) and other colleagues, according to Science Daily.
The researchers examined the data on deaths from ovarian cancer from 1970 to the most recent year from the World Health Organization. They discovered that in the 28 countries of the EU, the death rates were reduced by 1 percent between 2001 and 2012. This was based on an age-standardized death rate per 100,000 women of 5.76 to 5.19.
The records also showed that the decline in the ovarian cancer deaths in the U.S. was even greater. This dropped to 16 percent in death rates from 5.76 per 1000,000 in 2002 to 4.85 in 2012. There was also a decrease in ovarian cancer death rates in Canada over the same period by almost 8 percent from 5.42 to 4.95. In Japan, the death rate declined by 2 percent from 3.3 to 3.28 per 100,000. This made Japan has the lower rate of ovarian cancer among other countries.
Meanwhile, in Australian the death rate reduced by almost 12 percent from 4.84 to 4.27. New Zealand also had large decrease just like Australia with 12 percent from 5.61 to 4.93 per 100,000 women.
The Guardian reported that taking the hormonal contraceptive pill for five years or so protects the women from ovarian cancer when they grow older. Likewise, the drop in women using HRT, which help them ease the symptoms of menopause, for long periods is another reason for the decline of ovarian cancer deaths.
“The problem of HRT is not the short-term use for two to three years for menopausal symptoms,” said Prof. La Vecchia. “The problem was the long-term use for 10 to 15 years or longer, which proved to be unjustified.”