Scientists at the University of Southern California’s (USC) Keck School of Medicine recently found that using an intrauterine device (IUD) correlates with lower incidence of cervical cancer.
The commonly used method of contraception became the focus of a team collecting data from 16 vetted studies that amassed information from over 12,000 women worldwide, according to a press release. The researchers found that among women using an IUD, the prevalence of cervical cancer was one-third lower.
"The pattern we found was stunning," Victoria Cortessis, the study's lead author and an associate professor of clinical preventive medicine at the Keck School. "It was not subtle at all. The possibility that a woman could experience some help with cancer control at the same time she is making contraception decisions could potentially be very, very impactful."
The news offsets statistics showing that, overall, cervical cancer is on the rise and that women in developing nations are at higher risk and could benefit from using an IUD, USC scientists said. The World Health Organization predicts that the number of global cases will increase substantially by 2035 according to the release.
"A staggering number of women in the developing world are on the verge of entering the age range where the risk for cervical cancer is the highest — the 30s to the 60s," Cortessis said. “Even if the rate of cervical cancer remains steady, the actual number of women with cervical cancer is poised to explode. IUDs could be a tool to combat this impending epidemic."
The results of the study were published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.