Hormonal Contraceptives and the Big C - All Your Health Concerns Addressed

Hormonal Contraceptives and the Big C - All Your Health Concerns Addressed

Hormonal Contraceptives and the Big C - All Your Health Concerns Addressed


According to a Danish study, contraceptives that use hormones, including birth control pills and intrauterine devices (IUDs), slightly increase the risk of breast cancer. But the importance of the increase is unique to each woman and depends on many factors, including:

  • her age
  • her general health
  • her personal risk of breast cancer
  • other breast cancer risk factors, such as smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and maintaining a healthy weight

The study was published on Dec. 7, 2017 by the New England Journal of Medicine. Read the abstract of “Contemporary Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of Breast Cancer.”


The need for safe, effective birth control is shared by many women around the world. About 140 million women worldwide use hormonal contraception. Besides effectively stopping unwanted pregnancies, birth control pills also help control other conditions, such as acne, PMS, heavy periods, and mood swings. Research also has shown that birth control pills can slightly lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. There is also some evidence that birth control pills may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.


Still, research suggested that older forms of hormonal birth control that contained higher doses of hormones were linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. Newer forms of contraceptives that contained lower doses of hormones were considered safer, though all contained warnings in the instructions that they could increase cancer risk. The Danish study reviewed here wanted to quantify that risk.


It’s extremely important to know that if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you SHOULD NOT use contraceptives that use hormones. There is evidence that hormonal contraceptives may increase the risk of the cancer coming back (recurrence).


The possibility of increased breast cancer risk related to oral contraceptive use is a major concern to all women and to the scientific community as a whole. Breast cancer incidences in Western countries is relatively high and apparently is increasing. That breast cancer appears to be influenced by other hormonally mediated factors leads to the hypothesis that the high rate of exposure to oral contraceptives among women may also be associated with this increase.


How significant is the risk, and what are the alternatives?


The answer will be different for each woman and will depend on such factors as her age and general health and her other risks for breast cancer. But many doctors who prescribe contraceptives say there’s no cause for alarm — and no one should throw away her pills and risk an unwanted pregnancy.


And while birth control pills may slightly raise the odds of breast cancer — and have been associated with increases in cervical cancer, as well — the contraceptive’s relationship with cancer is complex.


Oral contraceptives appear to reduce the incidence of some less common reproductive cancers, like endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer, which is often detected at an advanced stage, when it is hard to treat. There is some evidence that birth control pills may also reduce the odds of colorectal cancer.


While there is research and evidence suggesting breast cancer likelihood increases when using hormonal contraceptives that other less common cancer types are kept at bay due to the same hormone.


The best possible solution to anyone who has concerns over the development or resurgence or cancer  should rather opt for non-hormonal contraceptives. The CopperPearls IUB is one of the safest and most advanced forms of non-hormonal IUD’s. Click here to get in touch with us and find out more today.