Some Birth Control Pills May Boost Breast Cancer Risk in Younger Women

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By Indrani Bhattacharyya | August 4, 2014 2:21 PM EST

Breast cancer claims quite a few innocent lives every year across the globe. According to a new study, it was reported that women under 50 who were diagnosed with breast cancer were also more likely to have recently been on some versions of the pill.

Reuters
An illustration picture shows a woman holding a birth control pill at her home in Nice January 3, 2013.

But even then, it only increases the risk by less than 1 per cent in younger women; therefore the benefits of oral contraceptives should not be overlooked, experts said.,

This work, published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, was by Elizabeth F. Beaber and her team from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington.

To find the association between pills and increased breast cancer risk, Beaber and her team members collected huge amount of data, some of which included tracking birth control pill prescriptions and looking at breast cancer diagnoses as well as looking at the information found in a prominent healthcare delivery system.

The scientists looked at the data of 1,102 women who were suffering from with breast cancer between the years 1990 and 2009, they also checked details of 21,952 women who did not have breast cancer during those years.

It was discovered that taking birth control pills slightly increased the risk of the onset of breast cancer, and the birth control pills with higher doses of estrogen or progestin provided the patient with a higher risk of developing breast cancer.

Patients who used pills with high doses of those chemicals were 2.6 times more likely to develop breast cancer than the women who did not use any pills at all, the study claimed.

According to the report by Reuters Health, Beaber told, "use of formulations with high dose estrogen, synthetic progestin and specific triphasic oral contraceptives in the past year was associated with an increased breast cancer risk in our study, while other formulations, including low dose estrogen oral contraceptives, did not appear to be associated with an elevated risk.”

Oral contraception is known to provide protection against pelvic inflammatory disease ,it also lowers the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers and colorectal cancers and helps women to maintain bone density.

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(Photo: Reuters / ERIC GAILLARD)
An illustration picture shows a woman holding a birth control pill at her home in Nice January 3, 2013.
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