Small risk of breast cancer seen with hormone contraceptives

Small risk of breast cancer seen with hormone contraceptives

Small risk of breast cancer seen with hormone contraceptives

Lindegaard speculated that the hormones in birth control may trigger certain cells that are ready to turn into cancer, he said, given that the risk seems to increase after only a few months of use.

They found that women taking estrogen/progestin birth control pills have about a 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer. "Thus, it is not exclusively estrogen that increases the risk of breast cancer". That's a lot of cancers, given that 140 million use hormonal contraception worldwide - or about 13 percent of women ages 15 to 49. But if they had taken hormonal contraception for more than five years, the higher risk of breast cancer persisted for at least five years after their discontinuation of hormonal birth control, the study found.

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) - Newer versions of the birth control pill carry a similar increased risk of breast cancer as earlier ones that were abandoned in the 1990s, a new study reveals. But a large Danish study suggests that, like older pills, they still modestly raise the risk of breast cancer, especially with long-term use. That includes pills, patches, rings, implants or injections. What's more, other studies have found that taking hormonal birth control may actually reduce the risk of other cancers, including ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and colorectal cancer, they said.

"Estrogen has been the primary focus of breast cancer research in general, and so we know much more about it than we do progesterone", Gaudet said. "It's important that women feel confident and comfortable with their contraceptive choice", he said.

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While contraceptive drugs that contain oestrogen have always been suspected of increasing the likelihood of breast cancer, researchers had expected smaller doses of the hormone, often combined with the drug progestin, would be safer, said Lina Morch, an epidemiologist at Copenhagen University Hospital who led a study analysing the records of 1.8 million women in Denmark.

First, the study didn't factor in other variables like diet, physical activity, breastfeeding or alcohol consumption, which could also have an impact on developing breast cancer.

The new findings, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, show that they do not, and the longer the products were used, the greater the danger. Still, the additional risk would result in a comparatively few additional cases of breast cancer, the researchers said.

For more on oral contraception, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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For some perspective, about 252,710 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, according to estimates from the National Institutes of Health; 12.4 percent of women will hear the diagnosis at some point in their lives.

Even if the relative risk increases 20 per cent, it remains less than one-tenth of 1 per cent.

Using hormonal birth control methods - including newer types of birth control pills, as well as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants - may slightly increase women's risk of breast cancer, according to a new study from Denmark. By contrast, there was no increased risk for breast cancer seen in women who used hormones for less than one year.

"Nothing is risk-free, and hormonal contraceptives are not an exception to that rule", said Dr. Øjvind Lidegaard, the paper's senior author.

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In Denmark, older women who have completed their families are most likely to use IUDs, including those containing hormones, and they are already more likely to develop breast cancer because of their age, Mørch said. But he suggested doctors take time to discuss the pros and cons of different types of contraception with their patients, and that they be frank about the potential risks, suggesting women reassess hormone use as they age.

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