Using IUD linked to 30% lower risk of cervical cancer

Women who get intra-uterine devices (IUDs) for birth control appear to face a dramatically lower risk of getting cervical cancer, the third most common cancer in women, US researchers said.

The risk of cervical cancer in women with IUDs was one-third lower than women without them, said the review in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, which included 16 previous studies spanning more than 12,000 women around the globe.

Researchers are not sure why the risk drops so much, but one theory is that the devices stimulate an immune response that helps fight off cancer-causing infections such as the human papillomavirus. Another possibility is that when women have the devices removed, precancerous cells are scraped away that might otherwise grow into tumours. - AFP