The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on new research into the association of the contraceptive pill and prostate cancer

The Prostate Cancer Charity comments on new research into the association of the contraceptive pill and prostate cancer, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the United Nations World Contraceptive Use, published in BMJ Open.

Dr Kate Holmes, Research Manager at The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: ""This study does not present a strong evidence case for an association between the use of the contraceptive pill and prostate cancer, nor does it intend to. It is intended to explore the possibility that release of endocrine disruptive chemicals (EDCs) into the environment, a process which is not unique to the pill, might impact on the incidence of the disease. However, for all of the 87 countries in the study, there is no information on the level of these chemicals in the environment, with the focus on the contraceptive pill as the sole source, which we know is not the case.

"Other types of contraceptive use are investigated too, to rule out the potential that increased levels of sexual activity are related to prostate cancer, or that a sexually transmitted infection could be linked to the disease. However, it would not be a surprise that countries which have a higher use of the contraceptive pill also have a higher detection level of prostate cancer, as this would be a reflection of a higher quality health care system in that country.

"While this study raises some interesting questions about the presence of EDCs in the environment, it does not contribute to our overall understanding of the development of prostate cancer."