A large study published on Wednesday showed that women who take birth control pills ur use contraceptive devices that release hormones face a small, yet significant increase in the risk of developing breast cancer
The study followed 1.8 million Danish women for over a decade and looked into the assumptions regarding modern contraceptives for the young generations of women.
Many of them believed that the modern contraceptive moethods are much safer than those taken by their mothers and grandmothers, due to the advance in science and technology.
However, the paper estimated that for every 100,000 women, human contraceptive use leads to an additional 13 breast cancer cases per year. This means that, for every 100,000 women who use hormonal birth control, there are 68 cases of breast cancer per year, compared to the 55 cases a year among those who do not use such methods.
Even though there has already been established a link between birth control pills and breast cancer a few years ago, this particular study aims to examine the risks that are associated with the current formulations of both birth control pills and devices in a large population.
The results showed few differences in risk between the formulations; apparently, women can’t protect themselves by turning to implants or intrauterine devices.
“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.”
“It’s small but it’s measurable, and if you add up all the millions of women taking the pill, it is a significant public health concern,” Dr. Weiss added.