Birth Control Pills And Breast Cancer – Know the Risks

 Birth Control Pills

Birth Control Pills

In times past, families happened because mom got pregnant, and typically without any planning whatsoever.  Women in general are now choosing to use oral contraceptives, i.e., ‘the pill’ or other forms of hormone releasing birth control. Unfortunately, while these types of birth control are popular, they have been shown to increase a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer.  ThermApproach believes you should know the facts, and the facts about the connection of birth control pills and breast cancer are startling and cause for concern.

By far the most commonly prescribed type of oral contraceptive in the United States contains synthetic versions of the natural female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This type of birth control pill is often called a combined oral contraceptive. Another type of oral contraceptive, sometimes called the mini pill, contains only progestin, which is a man-made version of progesterone. Also falling into the trap are I.U.D.’s (intrauterine contraceptive device) some of which contain the hormone progesterone.

According to a study done in Denmark – which followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than a decade – the widely held assumption about modern contraceptives were completely upended. The belief was that many women believe that newly hormonal contraceptives are much safer than those taken by their mothers or grandmothers, which had higher doses of estrogen.

The report estimated that for every 100,000 women, hormone contraceptive use causes an additional 13 breast cancer cases a year. That is, for every 100,000 women using hormonal birth control, there are 68 cases of breast cancer annually, compared with 55 cases a year among nonusers.[1]

Concurrently, the study found that women who were currently or recently using the progestin-only I.U.D. system also had a higher risk of breast cancer than women who never used hormonal contraceptives. [2]

Why does this happen? Naturally occurring estrogen and progesterone stimulate the development and growth of some cancers (e.g., cancers that express receptors for these hormones, such as breast cancer). Because birth control pills contain synthetic versions of these female hormones, they could potentially also increase cancer risk.

While a link had been established between birth control pills and breast cancer years ago, this study is the first to examine the risks associated with current formulations of birth control pills and devices in a large population.

The research also suggests that the hormone progestin — widely used in today’s birth control methods — may be raising breast cancer risk.

“This is an important study because we had no idea how the modern day pills compared to the old-fashioned pills in terms of breast cancer risk, and we didn’t know anything about I.U.D.’s,” said Dr. Marisa Weiss, an oncologist who founded the website breastcancer.org and was not involved in the study. “Gynecologists just assumed that a lower dose of hormone meant a lower risk of cancer. But the same elevated risk is there.”

We never want to overwhelm you with words and numbers that don’t seem to make sense, so let’s say it this way. Yes, there is evidence that hormonal contraceptives increase your chance of getting breast cancer. We want you to be aware of those risks. Following your breast health safely using Thermography is part of your breast health management program.

At ThermAppoach, we utilize sophisticated infrared technology and innovative computer software to capture the images in the form of an infrared thermogram, or heat picture.  All reports are interpreted by medical doctors that are Board Certified in Thermology. 

Before you can feel it, thermal imaging can see it. Please call our office to schedule your screening today.

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[1] http://www.nejm.org

[2] IBID