Some BC Pills May Up Breast Cancer Risk in Younger Women
the MPR take:
Previous research has linked use of oral contraceptives with a slight increase in breast cancer risk, but most have not studied contemporary formulations and relied on self-reported use. A new study in the journal Cancer Research examined the medical and electronic pharmacy records of 1,102 women ages 20–49 diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from 1990–2009 and 21,952 matched controls. Recent oral contraceptive use was found to increase breast cancer risk by 50% vs. never or former use, with contraceptives containing high-dose estrogen upping the risk 2.7 fold and moderate-dose estrogen by 1.6 fold. Oral contraceptives containing low-dose estrogen were not associated with an increased breast cancer risk. The authors advise that because breast cancer is rare among young women and oral contraceptive use has established health benefits, this research should be interpreted with caution and additional research is needed for confirmation.
Women who recently used birth control pills containing high-dose estrogen and a few other formulations had an increased risk for breast cancer, whereas women using some other formulations did not, according to data published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
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