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January 23, 2015

Scientists link rare brain tumor and birth control

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BC File Art/for PhillyVoice

Birth control pills

A Danish study found a link between a rare type of brain tumor and certain types of birth control, TIME Magazine reports.

Women taking contraceptives containing estrogen, progestin or a combination of the two were shown to have a higher rate of glioma, a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine.

Dr. David Gaist, a neurologist at Odense University Hospital and the University of Southern Denmark, said that while the findings are concerning, they don't yet warrant a reason for women to stop taking the pill.

The study looked at women ages 15 to 49 who were diagnosed with glioma and were also on birth control. It also analyzed how long the women were on the pill. The study showed that women who took the pill at any point had a 50 percent increased risk of developing cancer, while the risk for women who took it for more than five years doubled.

While the data is alarming, Gaist said that since this cancer is so rare that even doubling the risk would make it rare a woman on the pill develops the cancer.

For the full story, click here.

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