Birth Control Pills Still Linked to Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Published on December 7, 2017

The New York Times published a summary of a new study from the New England Journal of Medicine.

The Times’ summary reads:

Women who rely on birth control pills or contraceptive devices that release hormones face a small but significant increase in the risk for breast cancer, according to a large study published on Wednesday.

The study, which followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than a decade, upends widely held assumptions about modern contraceptives for younger generations of women. Many women have believed that newer hormonal contraceptives are much safer than those taken by their mothers or grandmothers, which had higher doses of estrogen.

The new paper 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.

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 full study is available here.

FEMM proposes a science-based, healthy, effect-free alternative to the managing of health and fertility, with the understanding that healthy, balanced levels of different hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, are key to the development of different systems, functions, and more, including breast tissue.

We encourage all women to download the FEMM app and take a FEMM class, which provides women with the foundational knowledge they need to manage health and fertility over the duration of their reproductive lives.

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