Oral contraceptives containing oestrogen and progestogen (known as combined oral contraceptives) are the most popular reversible method of birth control in Australian women under the age of 30.
Apart from preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptives provide some level of protection against endometrial and ovarian cancer. They are also associated with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer and, in a certain group of women, an increased risk of cervical cancer.
Cancer Council Australia's Public Health Committee has developed a position statement which provides women with background information about the risks and benefits of combined oral contraceptives, particularly in relation to cancer. It reaffirms the importance of regular screening for breast and cervical cancer for women in the relevant age groups
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