Some women are hesitant to go on birth control pills. They want to take control of family planning but may worry that there is a link between birth control and breast cancer. Read onto learn more about whether there is a valid connection between the two.
The original data that began this conversation comes from “Contemporary Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of Breast Cancer.” This study followed 1.8 million women in Denmark between 15 and49 years of age for 10.9 years. During this time, 11,517 cases of breast cancer were found. The researchers noticed that 13 per 100,000 were on birth control. This means 1 per 7,690 women using contraception had breast cancer.
To qualify for the study, the women needed to have no cancer, past or present, and no history of venous thromboembolism, which are blood clots that form in the veins. Women were also ineligible if they had undergone fertility treatment.
So, is there a link between breast cancer and birth control? Yes, but it is too small to worry about. The risk of breast cancer for most young women is so low that even a slight increase in risk does not make a big difference. In short, even with this “higher risk,” most young women are unlikely to get breast cancer.
The National Breast Cancer Foundation also states, “There is an increased risk of breast cancer for women who have been using birth control pills for more than five years. If a young woman has a significant family history of breast cancer, her gynecologist may recommend taking a break for a year from the pill at the 5-year time frame then resuming again for another five years.”
The Next Steps
So, what should you do with this information? Honestly, nothing. Women over 40 should be a bit more careful as age and past medical issues or procedures may cause an elevated risk of breast cancer.
While the findings of this study are something to discuss with your doctor, they should not change your daily life. If you do have a family history of breast cancer, tell your doctor when choosing birth control.
Learn More About Birth Control and Breast Cancer
At BASS Medical Group, our qualified doctors and specialists can help you choose the right birth control option based on your personal health and family history. Get in touch with us today at (925)350-4044 to schedule an appointment.