Contraceptive coil raises hope of delaying womb cancer

BBC News Health

28 September 2010 Last updated at 20:17 ET

By Michelle Roberts Health reporter, BBC News

European experts are hopeful that the coil contraceptive device could be used to delay womb cancer.

Promising early trial findings show an intrauterine device (IUD) can deliver hormones to the womb lining to halt and even reverse cancer growth.

This can buy young women with the disease time to have children before undergoing a curative hysterectomy.

It has already enabled nine such women to conceive, Annals of Oncology journal reports.

The usual treatment for endometrial cancer is a total hysterectomy with the removal of the womb and ovaries, but this results in the end of the woman’s fertility.

Preserving fertility

Sometimes it is possible for patients to be given oral hormone therapy to slow down the growth of the cancer, but this can cause unpleasant side effects, including skin rashes, nausea and vomiting.

Delivering the hormones direct to the problem area with a coil can avoid some of these side effects.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.