A major new study has found that even birth control pills and other contraceptives that release low doses of hormones increase breast cancer risk in women.
While the link between hormonal birth control and breast cancer has been known for years, many doctors and women had hoped that newer types of birth control, like IUDs, vaginal rings and implants, put women at less risk.
The study by researchers from the University of Copenhagen, that followed 1.8 million Danish women for over a decade, found that variations in the formulation of hormone-based birth control had very little impact on the breast cancer risk.
The study also found that the breast cancer risk increased the longer a lady used the birth control.
Overall, the breast cancer risk was 20 % higher for women who were presently using or had recently used hormonal contraceptives than among people who had never used it.
The estrogen utilized in hormonal contraceptives will Increase the breast cancer risk.
“As compared with women who had never used hormonal contraception, an increased breast cancer risk was observed among women who had previously used hormonal contraception for a long period of time,” the researchers wrote in the study released this week in the new england Journal of medicine.
For women who have used birth control for long periods, the increased breast cancer risk may continue for 5 years when they stop using it, the researchers found.
the risk for getting breast cancer was 9 % higher for women who used contraception for less than one year and 38 % higher for those who used it for over 10 years.
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The study offered a look at the effects of modern birth control use, over a long period of time, during a large group of women.
The researchers followed women between the ages of 15 and 49 over an average of nearly 11 years.
Sixty-two percent of women of reproductive age use contraceptive method, according to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics that looked at the period from 2000 to 2010.
Most women used contraception pills, the report said.
About 255,000 women in the united states are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and about 41,000 are expected to die from it, according to the American Cancer Society.
The study raised considerations for some Baltimore-area gynecologists, who said women should visit their doctors if they were worried about the correlation, particularly if they already had other breast cancer risk.
So how to balance health related benafits of birth control with negatives, and now what 62 % american women do how currently using contraception?
“This could be a massive deal, however it’s not an emergency,” says oncologist Dr. Marisa C. Weiss, who founded the nonprofit organization BreastCancer.org.
Recalling the common belief among doctors that modern time-released ways of birth control were considered safer than their older estrogen-filled iterations, she admits to feeling shocked to see “the study show they’re all related to the same danger.” essentially, any hormone combination strong enough to disrupt ovulation and hijack normal menstrual cycles to stop pregnancy is enough to boost breast cancer risk.
Weiss advocates a “stop, look, and listen” approach. “This news needs careful thinking and rethinking about the contraception method you’re using,” she says, emphasizing that finding out your unique needs is key. Age plays a significant role here.
for women in their 20s or 30s, 5 years of birth control use is credited with lower rates of ovarian cancer.
alternative doable health-boosting edges embody reductions in breast cancer, bone cutting, female internal reproductive organ and breast cysts, iron deficiency, and PMS.
If you’re on the pill, however not having sex, Weiss suggests considering a switch to on-demand choices, together with transportation back the diaphragm, that she calls “an old school methodology that works.”
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Women in their 40s and those with BRCA genes may want to rethink their reliance on the pill and think about nonhormonal IUDs like Paragard, the copper-releasing device preventing egg fertilization.
“You don’t get further ovarian cancer benefits after 5 years of the pill, therefore talk with your doctor about nonhormonal choices or even, for women who are finished having children, think about permanent birth control like tubal ligation,” she says of the procedure that cuts or blocks fallopian tubes to permanently prevent pregnancy. and since some nonhormonal methods of birth control may not be as instantly accessible as starter packs of pills, “Call ahead and tell the office you’re considering them,” she says.
For many, hormonal birth control pills and IUDs stay safe and effective choices and therefore the new study—which notably didn’t take into account exercise, breastfeeding, or alcohol consumption, all of which can also play a role in the breast cancer risk—underscores the importance of self-evaluation.
Vigilance, together with monthly self-checks, yearly appointments, and knowing your personal normal, has never been more central to women’s breast health—or well-being.