Research on birth control contradicts comments from Bishop

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Apr 25, 2014 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Harrisburg's recently-installed Roman Catholic Bishop is asserting birth control is causing many cancers in women, but the current scientific consensus doesn't agree.


Speaking on WITF’s Smart Talk, Bishop Ronald Gainer discussed several familiar topics: Pope Francis, outreach to the poor, and gay marriage.

But when asked about birth control, he said science is proving taking the pill isn't right.

"The facts are from those who are doing research into the effects of chemical birth control that we can find the roots to many, many of these diseases of cancer in women due to birth control."

Gainer also says a number of amazing incidences of cancer in women exist because of birth control, although he says long-term effects still need to be studied.

"This is gonna have to be a long term study, but I've read things by researchers, breast cancer alone, the incidences of that, I think are being shown clinically to be traceable to the use of this hormone adjustment in women," says Gainer.

His comments stand in direct contrast to authoritative research collected by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health and the group Susan G. Komen For The Cure.

The National Cancer Institute says there is a slight increase to the risk of breast cancer, and Susan G. Komen says its between a 10 and 30 percent increase.

Both point to more than 50 studies showing the increase decreases once women stop taking the pill, and risk returns to normal after a decade.

The rate of cervical cancer has been shown to increase, but not because of birth control, but rather sexual activity.

The National Cancer Insitute says research shows women who use oral contraceptives have reduced risks of ovarian and endometrial cancer.

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