A major study just released found that even today’s birth control pills and other types of contraceptives that release small doses of hormones increase breast cancer risk in women.
While links between breast cancer and hormonal birth control have been known for several years, most women and doctors hoped that the newer methods of birth control such as vaginal rings, implants, and IUDs, put users at less of a risk.
However, the study by University of Copenhagen researchers, which followed more than 1.8 Danish women for over 10 years, found the differences in the hormone based birth control to be of little effect on the risk of cancer. Their study found as well that the cancer risk increased the more time a woman took birth control.
Overall, the risk of breast cancer was 20% higher for women who had recently or were currently using hormonal forms of contraceptives than amongst those women who never used it.
Estrogen in the hormonal contraceptives could promote breast cancer development.
For women who used birth control long periods, the increase in cancer risk might continue for up to five years after the birth control was stopped being used, found researchers.
The risk of developing breast cancer was higher by 9% for women who had used birth control less than a year and 38% higher for women who used birth control over 10 years.
This study looked at effects of today’s use of birth control, during a long period, within a large group. The researchers followed women who were 15 to 49 years of age for an average of close to 11 years.
Over 62% of women who are of reproductive age are using some form of contraception, showed a report that surveyed women between 2000 and 2010. The majority of women using birth control use pill, the reported indicated.
Close to 255,000 women across the U.S. will be diagnosed in 2017with breast cancer and more than 41,000 will die from the cancer, says the American Cancer Society.
This study has raised concerns of gynecologists who said that women should consult their doctors if they become worried about correlation particularly if they have other types of risk factors for developing breast cancer.
There has also been found a link between birth control and lower incidences of endometrial, colon and uterine cancers at a later time in life, and it can help women that have strong cramps as well as heavy menstrual bleeding.