Xavier M. Castellsague of the IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and colleagues say the epidemiological study results run contrary to conventional wisdom that an IUD could be a risk factor of cervical cancer. Previous studies on possible effects of IUD use on the development of this cancer have yielded inconsistent results, the researchers say.
Castellsague, also of the Cancer Epidemiological Research Program at the Catalan Institute of Oncology, assessed the effects of IUD use on the risk of cervical human papillomavirus infection and the risk of developing cervical cancer.
The researchers analyzed data from 10 case-control studies of cervical cancer done in eight countries, and 16 HPV prevalence surveys in women from four continents involving 20,000 women.
The study, published in The Lancet Oncology, found IUD use did not affect the risk of HPV infection, but was associated with a significantly lower risk of cervical cancer for both major cervical cancer types -- reducing the likelihood of developing squamous-cell carcinoma by 44 percent and adenocarcinoma or adenosquamous carcinoma by 54 percent.