Depo-Provera May Cause Breast Cancer. Have you or a woman you love used the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera (depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA) and been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer? Recent research has found a possible association between Depo-Provera and breast cancer in young women who used the injectable birth control method recently (within five years) for at least a year. Using Depo-Provera may increase the likelihood that a young woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer by more than 2-fold.
The defective drug lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are investigating the association between ‘Depo-Provera’ and breast cancer. The firm is offering free Depo-Provera lawsuit consultations to any young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer that might be associated with this injectable contraceptive. To protect your legal rights, we urge you to contact one of our ‘Depo-Provera’ breast cancer lawyers today.
Depo-Provera and Breast Cancer
Depo-Provera, or DMPA, is a progestin-only contraceptive shot that prevents a woman from ovulating. Each shot provides protection against pregnancy for up to 14 weeks, but the injection must be received once every 12 weeks to remain fully protected.
Depo-Provera contains the same type of progestin found in the hormone therapy drug Prempro, which has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. However, despite evidence linking this progestin to breast cancer, few studies assessing the risk of the disease in young women using Depo-Provera, or DMPA, have been conducted. What research has been done has produced mixed findings.
In April 2012, the first large study in the U.S. to examine the possible association between Depo-Provera and breast cancer was published in the journal Cancer Research. The study compared data on 1,028 Seattle-area women ages 20 to 44 who had been diagnosed with breast cancer to 919 age-matched controls who did not have a history of breast cancer. About 10 percent of subjects in the study reported using DMPA. Roughly 3.1 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer had used DMPA for 12 months or more within the last five years, compared with1.6 percent of controls.
Those who had used Depo-Provera recently for 12 months or longer had 2.2-fold increased risk of being diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Women who used DMPA for less than a year or who had stopped using it more than a year earlier did not exhibit any increased risk. The study also found that the higher risk lessened in the months after a woman stopped using ‘Depo-Provera’.
Although breast cancer in younger women remains rare, “our findings emphasize the importance of identifying the potential risks associated with specific forms of contraceptives, given the number of available alternatives,” the researchers said.