Breast Cancer and Oral Contraceptives

From Breast Cancer and the Pill

The Pill increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer.

Why? Because oral contraceptives cause a significantly higher rate of breast cell division, and in general, cells that divide more rapidly are more likely to become cancerous.

By how much? According to the 2009 study Risk Factors for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer in Women Under the Age of 45 Years, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, after less than one year of taking oral contraceptives, a woman’s risk of triple-negative breast cancer is increased 2.5 fold.

After more than one year of use, her risk is increased by 4.2 fold. This risk is further increased if a woman begins her use of oral contraceptives before the age of 18, or if she smokes. This increased risk persists for 10 years after ending the use of the Pill.

Triple-negative breast cancer is a particularly aggressive subtype of breast cancer, with little treatment available outside of chemotherapy and mastectomy.

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Posted in The Scientific Perspective, Women's Health
2 comments on “Breast Cancer and Oral Contraceptives
  1. Noemi Biler says:

    Breast cancer can be easily detected by means of pap smear. It is just a matter of having regular checkup to detect it at the earliest stage possible.’;..’

    Yours trully“>

    • Truthsayer says:

      #1. Breast cancer isn’t detected through pap smear. Pap smear is good for detecting cervical cancer though. And in the US there is now a HALO Pap Test for the breast.
      #2. Even “easy detection” of breast cancer isn’t enough justification for prescribing it to millions of women, especially those who may not have money for yearly health exams, or those who may not have money for breast cancer treatment.

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