Contraceptive Pill Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

09 December, 2017, 13:35 | Author: Kristine Mills
  • Amanda Morris	
		Amanda Morris with her husband Christopher Bowen and daughters Jade and Hailey

The study said that of the almost two million women who were followed on average of almost 11 years, the breast cancer risk for women using the pill increased more the longer they used it - rising from 20 to 38 percent depending on length of time used, CNN reported.

All forms of hormonal contraception bring an increased risk of breast cancer, which lasts for about five years after women stop taking it, new research suggests.

There were hopes that newer, low-dose birth control pills would be able to lower breast cancer risks, but these have been dashed, Gaudet said, who was also not involved in the study. For women in their 20s or 30s, five years of contraception use is credited with lower rates of ovarian cancer. The risk for getting breast cancer was 9 percent higher for women who used birth control for less than one year and 38 percent higher for those who used it for more than 10 years. In current and recent users of any type of hormonal contraception, the risk of breast cancer was 20 per cent increased. The researchers used nationwide registries to collect information about prescriptions that were filled for hormonal contraception, as well as diagnoses of breast cancer.

Lina Morch of Copenhagen University Hospital, lead author on the study, said, "No type of hormone contraceptive is risk-free unfortunately". Surveys suggest access to birth control has been improved by the Affordable Care Act, which requires health plans to cover all forms of contraception without out-of-pocket costs. 'The study found few differences in risk between the formulations; women can not protect themselves by turning to implants or intrauterine devices that release a hormone directly into the uterus, ' The New York Times reported. "Women just need to be aware of the risks".

'We'd encourage all women to speak to their doctor or family planning clinic when starting or stopping the pill to ensure they fully understand the benefits and risks and are able to make an informed decision that's right for them'.

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"What's most important is for women to know what's normal for them and to be aware of changes in the breast", she said.

"I do encourage people to talk with their doctor and not go running off their birth control", Hobart said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 252,710 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in the United States in 2017. Such benefits include not only preventing an unwanted pregnancy, but also "substantial reductions in the risks of ovarian, endometrial and colorectal cancers in later life", he writes.

"While this study raises known associated risks between breast cancer and hormonal contraception, we believe a robust evaluation of the study, including the study design, is necessary to accurately interpret the findings and reach conclusions", Dr. Chris Zahn, a vice president with the organization, said in a statement. But it's noteworthy because of its scope and the fact that it's one of the first efforts to examine modern birth control methods (which contain lower levels of estrogen than earlier ones did) and possible associations with breast cancer.



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