Birth Control and Breast Cancer: What You Need To Know
During October – we do what we can to raise awareness for breast cancer, as well as prevention of this deadly disease. Early prevention is key, of course – and physicians and healthcare workers all over the world are involved in the highly-publicized “Breast Cancer Awareness Month“. One in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime – but the global effort to provide mammograms and detect early is proving to save lives.
Hormonal Relationships to Breast Cancer and Breast Cancer Risk
This topic is commonly addressed with patients by doctors nationwide; and for good reason – many at-risk (by age group) are undergoing hormonal therapies in some way – whether it be birth control or hormone replacement therapies – and birth control has been known to be associated with a slightly increased risk for breast cancer (not seen with properly managed.
We know that the increased risk with birth control (pills) use is not seen ten years post use. There is little information regarding birth control patch, vaginal ring and other forms of birth control. However, we do know that longer-term useres of Depo Provera have a possible increased risk. Women of younger ages utilizing birth control are at lower risk than those over 35.
Known breast cancer risk factors include:
- Family history of breast cancer
- alcohol consumption
- Skegg DC, Noonan EA, Paul C, et al. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate and breast cancer. A pooled analysis of the World Health Organization and New Zealand studies. JAMA. 273(10):799-804, 1995.
- Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Breast cancer and hormonal contraceptives: collaborative reanalysis of individual data on 53,297 women with breast cancer and 100,239 women without breast cancer from 54 epidemiological studies. Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer. Lancet. 347:1713-27, 1996.
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts Accessibility verified 10/1/2014
- Guttmacher Institiute. Contraceptive Use in the United States. June 2014./www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_contr_use.html Accessibility verified 10/1/2014
- Susan G. Komen Foundation. How Hormones Affect Breast Cancer. http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-facts