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Depo Provera and cancer risk

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • effect on breast cancer risk - less than or similar to the combined oral contraceptive pill (1)
    • there is possibly a weak association between current use of DMPA and breast cancer. Any increased risk is likely to be small and reduce with time after stopping (2)

  • not associated with increased risk of ovarian, cervical or liver cancer (1)

  • protective effect against endometrial cancer (five-fold - relative risk 0.2) - this protective effect continues for up to eight years after discontinuation (1)

  • there is a weak association between cervical cancer and use of DMPA for 5 years or longer. Any increased risk appears to reduce with time after stopping and could be due to confounding factors (2)

Reference:

  • (1) Prescriber (1999), 10 (16), 29-41.
  • (2) FSRH (December 2014). Progestogen-only injection contraception.

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