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Can Birth Control Cause Breast Cancer

Birth Control And Endometrial Cancer

Study: Birth Control Increases Woman’s Risk For Breast Cancer By 20 Percent

Use of some forms of hormonal birth control the risk of endometrial cancer.

Current users of estrogen-containing pills have half as much risk as those who never used hormonal methods . Former-users of the pill also have a reduced risk after discontinuation .

There has been less research on progestin-only birth control, but some studies have found reduced risks too. One study from 2014 found that people with heavy menstrual bleeding who used the hormonal IUD had half the risk of developing endometrial cancer . Users of the progestin-only shot have been found to be at reduced risk , and progestin-only pills might also reduce risk , though more research is needed.

Theoretically, users of progestin-only methods should be at a reduced risk, because it is thought that the synthetic progestins prevent the development of endometrial cancer .

The hormonal IUD and an oral form of the progestin found in the contraceptive shot have actually been used to treat some forms of endometrial cancer and endometrial hyperplasia, or abnormal cell growth .

Birth Control And Cancer: Can Oral Contraceptives Prevent Ovarian Cancer

Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, Melrose-Wakefield Hospital

Certain forms of birth control may decrease your risk for ovarian cancer.

For years, women have dealt with a barrage of myths and street knowledge about birth control. One of these commonly held concerns is that certain contraceptives, such as the pill, cause ovarian cancer. But research has suggested that the opposite is true.

In fact, since 2014, we have been prescribing two forms of birth control with the goal of preventing ovarian cancer in mind:

  • Oral birth control, a.k.a. the pill
  • Severing or removing part of the fallopian tubes, otherwise known as tubal resection

What Is Environmental Health Tracking

Environmental health tracking is one way for us to gather more information about diseases and how they may be linked to what were exposed to in our air, water, and homes in order to take action to protect our health. Currently, we have very little data on exposures to environmental hazards and the health effects that may be related to those exposures. The chemical industry and polluters get off clean by saying no data means no problem. But when we consider the small but growing amount of evidence linking diseases like cancer, asthma, and Alzheimers to toxic chemical exposure, we know that no data really means that the problems just havent been adequately studied.

Environmental health tracking is one way to help bring those problems to light. In 2003, Congress appropriated $28 million to begin the development of a nationwide network to track when and where breast cancer and other chronic diseases occur, along with the presence of relevant environmental factors such as exposure to PCBs, dioxin, pesticides, and other pollutants. This data will hopefully help us better understand the links between diseases and environmental hazards in order to take action to protect public health.

A national system of environmental health tracking would:

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What If I Have A Family History Of Breast Cancer

If your mother, aunt, sibling has breast cancer, you are at higher risk of breast cancer.

If it is your grandmother and NOT mother, aunt, or sibling, then your risk is average = not higher than your person without a family history of breast cancer. However it could also be that your mother, aunt, siblings are still young and it hasnt shown up yet.

The cancer question is a risk/benefit analysis.

Breast Changes And Conditions

Is Your Hormonal Birth Control Protecting You or Causing ...

As you await follow-up test results, remember that most breast changes are not cancer.

You may have just received an abnormal mammogram result, or perhaps you or your health care provider found a breast lump or other breast change. Keep in mind that breast changes are very common, and most are not cancer. This page can help you learn about symptoms during your lifetime that are not cancer as well as follow-up tests used to diagnose breast conditions and treatments for specific breast conditions.

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Cohort And Other Prospective Studies

The largest, and probably the most reliable, study on this topic was done during the 1990s in Denmark, a country with very detailed medical records on all its citizens. In this study, all Danish women born between 1935 and 1978 were linked with the National Registry of Induced Abortions and with the Danish Cancer Registry. All of the information about their abortions and their breast cancer came from registries it was very complete and was not influenced by recall bias.

After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, the researchers found that induced abortion had no overall effect on the risk of breast cancer. The size of this study and the manner in which it was done provide good evidence that induced abortion does not affect a womans risk of developing breast cancer.

Another large cohort study was reported on by Harvard researchers in 2007. This study included more than 100,000 women who were between the ages of 29 and 46 at the start of the study in 1993. These women were followed until 2003. Because they were asked about childbirths and abortions at the start of the study, recall bias was unlikely to be a problem. After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, the researchers found no link between either spontaneous or induced abortions and breast cancer.

A French cohort study of more than 100,000 women, published in 2003, also found no link between induced abortion and breast cancer risk.

Findings Raise New Concerns About Birth Control Safety

Since the 1960s, when the birth control pill made its debut, contraceptives have played a major role in family planning. So when researchers discovered that women taking hormone-based birth control had a higher incidence of breast cancer, making the contraceptives safer became an important public health priority. Many experts believed they found a solution in options with far lower doses of estrogen, a hormone long linked to breast cancer;occurrence. But a new study suggests that low-dose contraceptives have not had the impact doctors expected, and experts are urging women to talk to their doctors about the implications for their breast health, even though the overall risk remains relatively small.

The study, published in December in The New England Journal of Medicine, followed 1.8 million women for an average of about 11 years, finding that those on hormonal contraception had a 20 percent higher risk of breast cancerno matter the dose of estrogenthan women who never used those birth control methods. Its an important discovery, especially with an estimated 140 million women across the globe using some form of hormonal contraception. Now, the findings have experts taking a closer look at another hormone singled out by the study: progestin.

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Does Birth Control Cause Breast Cancer

Access to birth control is a global issue, because birth control empowers women to be in control of their own lives. Birth control does more than simply protect your body from unwanted pregnancy but taking birth control can help reduce PMS and cramping, improve heavy periods, and minimize mood swings. There is also ample evidence that being on birth control reduces the risk of developing uterine or ovarian cancer. But does birth control increase breast cancer risk?

Does Taking The Combined Pill Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer

Do Birth Control Pills Cause Breast Cancer

Taking the combined pill will slightly increase the risk of breast cancer compared to people who are not taking it. But its important to remember that there are other things that have a bigger effect on breast cancer risk. For example, being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer much more than taking the pill does.

When you stop taking the pill, your breast cancer risk stops increasing. About 10 years after stopping, a persons risk is no longer affected.

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How Much Does The Combined Pill Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is rare in young women. A slight increase in risk during this time means only a small number of extra cases of breast cancer are diagnosed.

In a group of 10,000 women who do not use the combined pill, about 40 will probably develop breast cancer between the ages of 30 and 39.;;

In a group of 10,000 women who do use the combined pill for most of their 30s, about 54 will develop breast cancer between the ages of 30 and 39.

So using the combined pill during this time causes about 14 extra cases of breast cancer in every 10,000 women.

What Do The Studies Show

The results of studies looking at the possible link between breast cancer and induced abortion often differ depending on how the study was done. Cohort studies and studies that used records to determine the history of abortions have not found an increased risk. Some case-control studies, however, have found an increase in risk.

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What Is The Contraceptive Pill

Oral contraceptives, also known as the pill, are a common form of birth control in the UK. They prevent pregnancy by changing the levels of hormones in the body. These are the hormones that control the menstrual cycle .

There are two main types:

The combined pill. This pill contains 2 hormones, oestrogen and progestogen.

The progestogen-only pill . This pill only contains the hormone progesterone.

Read more about the combined pill and the mini-pill on the NHS website. The NHS explains how they work, possible side effects and who can take each type.

Birth Control Can Lower A Womans Risk Of Gynecologic Cancer

12 Reasons You Should Not Use Birth Control Products

Both birth control pills and hormonal IUDs can significantly reduce the risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. Using birth control pills;can actually reduce ovarian cancer risk by up to 50 percent, says Dr. Goldfrank. This protection appears to last for many years after stopping use. The pill can also significantly lower the risk of endometrial cancer.

Because hormonal IUDs thin the endometrial lining, they can;sometimes be used to prevent or even treat early-stage endometrial cancer. Like the pill, hormonal IUDs also appear to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.

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How Does Pregnancy Affect Benign Breast Disease

Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can cause breast lumps, tenderness and nipple discharge. Youre also more likely to experience benign breast changes or develop a breast infection called mastitis while breastfeeding. Breast changes during pregnancy or breastfeeding are rarely cancerous. Still, you should reach out to your healthcare provider when you notice any breast change.

Whats The Risk Of Breast Cancer With Birth Control Pills

Medically reviewed by Sophia Yen, MD, MPH Written by Pandia Health Editorial Team. Updated on February 11, 2020

Research has shown an association between birth control pill use and breast cancer. However, that increased risk is very small and smaller than the increased risk of breast cancer from drinking 3 to 6 alcoholic beverages a week!

1.Association does not equal causation is a key tenet in science. There has not been a randomized clinical trial putting some women on the pill and some women not on the pill and assessing breast cancer risk. Only an association has been shown.

Example: those who carry lighters have an association with lung cancer. Its not that the lighters cause cancer. Its that people who carry lighters are usually smokers. Smoking causes lung cancer.

from Health News Review

A confounder that could be causing this is that women who delay having children are at greater risk of breast cancer. Because, once you get pregnant, your breasts change and that protects you from breast cancer. So the earlier you have babies, the less your risk of breast cancer.

Per the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the older a woman is when she has her first baby, or if a woman never has a pregnancy, the higher her risk for breast cancer.; And who is best at delaying babies? Answer: those women on hormonal birth control.

Studies suggest birth control pills pose a very low risk of increasing breast cancer likelihood

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The Pill Might Cause A Small Increase In Breast Cancer Its Unclear If Hormonal Iuds Do The Same

The link between birth control pills;and breast cancer has been controversial, says Dr. Goldfrank. Studies looking at this have gone back and forth.

Birth control pills might increase the risk of breast cancer a small amount, especially for women who currently use or who recently used birth control pills. Any elevated risk seems to decrease over time after stopping use.;

Even less is known about the link between hormonal IUDs and breast cancer, says Dr. Goldfrank. Its not clear yet, she says.

Women With A Brca Gene Mutation Or Other Inherited Cancer Risk Have Options

Birth Control Could Cause Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer

Women who have an increased gynecologic cancer risk due to a BRCA mutation or Lynch syndrome may receive a significant cancer risk reduction from using the pill or a hormonal IUD.;

Dr. Goldfrank recommends that women with an inherited cancer risk speak with their gynecologist about the best method for them. The possible small increased risk of breast cancer that might be;associated with long-term hormonal contraception use needs to be considered alongside other benefits and risk factors.;

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Research Studies On Abortion And Breast Cancer

Researchers have looked at the possible link between abortion and breast cancer for many years, but this has been a difficult area to study.

The most reliable way to know if something causes cancer would be to do a randomized study. This means that you would take a large number of people, expose half of them to the thing that could cause cancer , and dont expose the other half to the possible carcinogen. Whether someone is in the exposed or non-exposed group would be chosen at random. As long as the 2 groups were similar to start with in terms of risk factors for cancer, any difference in cancer risk between the 2 groups would likely be because of being exposed to the possible carcinogen. Of course, it isnt practical or ethical to study the effects of many things on cancer risk with this kind of study. This is especially true for effects of abortion.

Instead, to look at the effects of abortion on cancer risk, we have to use;observational studies. These kinds of studies gather information about the people in them, often by asking questions or looking at medical records. Then the researchers try to see if certain factors are linked to certain outcomes.

Does The Pill Cause Breast Cancer

The available research on this topic is mixed. The conflicting results may be due to the fact that the hormone levels in the birth control pills have changed over the years. Early birth control pills contained much higher levels of hormones than today’s low-dose pills and posed a higher breast cancer risk. There are concerns that the pill may cause breast cancer because the hormones in birth control pills may overstimulate breast cellsthis may increase your risk of breast cancer. There is great concern if youre at high risk for breast cancer due to:

  • A strong family history of breast cancer
  • Past breast biopsies showing abnormal cells
  • You or a family member has an abnormal breast cancer gene

Research on this topic varies. In general, most studies have not found an overall increased risk of breast cancer due to the use of the pill. That being said, several research studies have suggested that using the pill may increase your risk of having breast cancer. Here is a quick review of some of the research on this topic:

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Overall Risk Is Very Small And Older Women Who Used Hormonal Contraceptives Many Years Ago Aren’t Likely To Have A Higher Risk

Hormonal birth control whether it comes as pills, injections, a ring, an intrauterine device , or an implant may raise your risk of breast cancer, according to a study published Dec. 7, 2017, in The New England Journal of Medicine.

If you’re like many women who currently use one of these contraceptive methods, or if you used one for years in the past, should you be worried?

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How Could Oral Contraceptives Influence Cancer Risk

Hormonal birth control can cause breast cancer

Naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone stimulate the development and growth of some cancers . Because birth control pills contain synthetic versions of these female hormones, they could potentially also increase cancer risk.

In addition, oral contraceptives might increase the risk of cervical cancer by changing the susceptibility of cervical cells to persistent infection with high-risk HPV types .

Researchers have proposed multiple ways that oral contraceptives may lower the risks of some cancers, including:

  • suppressing endometrial cell proliferation
  • reducing the number of ovulations a woman experiences in her lifetime, thereby reducing exposure to naturally occurring female hormones
  • lowering the levels of bile acids in the blood for women taking oral conjugated estrogens
Selected References
  • Burkman R, Schlesselman JJ, Zieman M. Safety concerns and health benefits associated with oral contraception. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 2004; 190:S522.

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    Alternative Birth Control Methods

    According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, other birth control methods, such as Depo Provera, the birth control patch, and the vaginal ring, do not increase the risk of breast cancer. They also point out that any risk associated with birth control pills is extremely small and goes away when youre no longer taking birth control.

    In order to make the right decision for you about whether or not birth control is safe, talk to your physician. And remember, breast cancer is highly treatable when caught early, so get your yearly mammograms.

    Whether you and your physician decide you need to have a mammogram, an ultrasound, or both, visit PURE Mammography in the Smith Haven Mall today, no appointment necessary. You can also call;631-652-3424;or fill out the form on this page to pre-schedule an appointment or to;learn more about PURE.


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