Study: Birth Control Pills Raise Breast Cancer RiskJan 28, 2014
A new study has revealed links between birth control pills and increased risks for developing breast cancer.
The study found that working women who delay marriage and having children, and who are using contraceptive pills or undergoing what is described as “incidental” abortions also have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to IndiaToday.
The study, conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), found that women who marry at a later age, who do not breastfeed their babies for a long period of time, who have a higher incidence of abortions, and who use oral contraceptive pills, have an increased likelihood of developing breast cancer, wrote IndiaToday.
The Institute’s department of gastroenterology and human nutrition unit conducted the study on 640 women. The data were published in the most recent issue of Indian Journal of Cancer. The study sought to understand the tie between reproductive factors and breast cancer. Study participants visited the AIIMS Out-Patient Department (OPD) and In-Patient Department (IPD).
"Women who marry after 20 years of age were at 2.69 times higher risk of getting breast cancer. The age at first childbirth was also found to be associated with the risk of breast cancer with a woman being at two-fold risk if her first child is born after 21 years of age. It was found that the risk of breast cancer was 9.50 times higher in women with a history of consumption of oral contraceptive pills," said Dr. Umesh Kapil, Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition Unit, of the women who were part of the study. Dr, Kapil authored the study, according to The Daily Mail.
Prior research found that the injectable contraceptive, Depo-Provera (depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA), may increase the likelihood that young women will develop invasive breast cancer, according to findings from the first United States large-scale study looking at the issue. The study found that recent use of the progestin-only birth control method more than doubles risks for breast cancer.
Another prior study revealed that birth control pills and injectable contraceptives may increased risks for breast cancer. The study reviewed women’s use of both injectable and oral birth control methods and found that users of these types of contraceptives were at a significantly lowered risks for ovarian cancer, they were at a significantly increased relative risk of developing invasive breast cancer, said ABC News.
Birth control pills, and other prescription products, have been in use since the early 1960s and have become quite popular. Ties between estrogen and an increased risk of breast cancer has led to an ongoing public debate.