Tuesday November 20, 2018

Ovarian Cancer Risks Cut in Half With a New Birth Control Pill: Study

Previous research had shown that the older products, containing higher levels of oestrogen and older progestogens, were tied to reduced ovarian cancer risk.

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Contraceptives, Wikimedia commons
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New types of combined birth control pills — containing both lower doses of oestrogens and newer progestogens — may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer among young women, says a study.

The study, published in the journal The BMJ, showed that this positive effect strengthened with longer periods of use and persisted for several years after stopping.

“The reduced risk seems to persist after stopping use, although the duration of benefit is uncertain,” the study said.

At least 100 million women worldwide use hormonal contraception every day.

Ovarian Cancer
The study found that genes on the X-chromosome get potentially passed down through the father to his daughter, thus increasing the risk of ovarian cancer in girls. Wikimedia Commons

For the study, the researchers from University of Aberdeen in Scotland and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark analysed data for nearly 1.9 million Danish women aged 15-49 years between 1995 and 2014.

Women were categorised as never users (no record of being dispensed hormonal contraception), current or recent users (up to one year after stopping use), or former users (more than one year after stopping use) of different hormonal contraceptives.

Most (86 per cent) of the hormonal contraceptive use related to combined oral products.

The researchers found that the number of cases of ovarian cancer were highest in women who had never used hormonal contraception (7.5 per 100,000 person years), whereas among women who had ever used hormonal contraception, the number of cases of ovarian cancer were 3.2 per 100,000 person years.

Ovarian Cancer
At least 100 million women worldwide use hormonal contraception every day. . (IANS)

The reduced risk for combined products was seen with nearly all types of ovarian cancer, and there was little evidence of important differences between products containing different types of progestogens.

“Based on our results, contemporary combined hormonal contraceptives are still associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer in women of reproductive age, with patterns similar to those seen with older combined oral products,” the study authors said.

Also Read: High Immunity Protein At Birth Cuts Childhood Malaria Risk

Previous research had shown that the older products, containing higher levels of oestrogen and older progestogens, were tied to reduced ovarian cancer risk.

But it was not known whether the newer contraceptives carried the same benefit. (IANS)

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Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period.

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toilets, studentsac, Rohingya, myanmar
A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published Friday.

Children at 1 in 3 schools lack access to proper toilets, putting them at risk of diarrhea and other infections and forcing some to miss lessons altogether, according to the study, based on data from 101 countries.

Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the worst school toilets while Ethiopian children fare worst at home, with 93 percent of homes lacking a decent toilet according to the report, released ahead of World Toilet Day on Monday.

toilets, students
Students arrive for class at the Every Nation Academy private school in the city of Makeni in Sierra Leone, April 20, 2012. VOA

“The message here is that water and sanitation affect everything,” WaterAid spokeswoman Anna France-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “If there’s no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up.”

Diarrhea, infection risk

A lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children around the world in danger of diarrhea, which kills 289,000 children younger than 5 a year, WaterAid said.

But some regions have started to clean up their act, notably South Asia, where access to toilets in schools has improved.

More than half the schools in Bangladesh now have access to decent toilets, while students in 73 percent of schools in India and 76 percent of those in Bhutan can access basic sanitation.

Akramul Islam, director of water, sanitation and hygiene at the Bangladeshi charity BRAC, said the country’s once-high levels of open defecation — using open ground rather than toilets — were now less than 1 percent.

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India’s plight in sanitation has not improved much since ages.
Pixabay

“Today, schools have separate toilets for girls and boys and the issue of menstrual hygiene is also being addressed,” he said. “This has happened because of initiatives taken by both the government, the NGOs and other stakeholders.”

Also Read: 3 HIV+ Students Banned From School in Indonesia

Improvement needed

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period, WaterAid said, urging greater investment in basic sanitation.

“If we are serious about all children and young people, wherever they are, whatever their gender, physical ability or community background, having their right to clean water and sanitation, we must take decisive and inclusive action now,” said Chief Executive Tim Wainwright. (VOA)