HORMONAL BIRTH CONTROL, THE STUDY DISCOVERED THAT IRRESPECTIVE OF THE TYPE, THERE IS A CONNECTION TO BREAST CANCER.
• Previous studies indicate that the use of hormonal birth control containing both estrogen and progestin is associated with a minor elevation in the risk of developing breast cancer.
• According to a recent study, the use of progestin-only contraceptives carries a similar risk of breast cancer.
• Despite this, specialists note that the overall risk posed by both forms of birth control is still relatively low.
A recent publication in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine reveals that both progestin-only contraceptives and those containing progestin with estrogen are linked to a minor increase in the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Earlier studies had connected hormonal contraceptives that include both estrogen and progestin to a similar elevated risk of breast cancer, with combination contraceptives being available in diverse forms such as oral pills, patches, and vaginal rings. However, the researchers in this new study assert that the risk of breast cancer rises with progestin-only birth control, regardless of its type. Progestin-only contraceptives come in various forms such as oral pills, patches, injectables, and intrauterine devices (IUDs).
INFORMATION DERIVED FROM THE STUDY ON BREAST CANCER AND CONTRACEPTION.
The Clinical Practical Research Datalink was utilized by scientists from the UK to conduct their investigation.
They examined the medical records of 9,498 women who were under 50 years old and had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 1996 and 2017.
In addition, the researchers analyzed 18,171 medical records to serve as a comparison group.
THE RESULTS COMPRISED OF:
- Nearly half of the women diagnosed with breast cancer had been prescribed hormonal birth control, with approximately half of those prescriptions being for progestin-only options.
- In the control group, around 39% of women were prescribed hormonal birth control, with half of those being progestin-only.
- The use of hormonal contraceptives for 5 years was associated with an estimated absolute excess risk of 8 per 100,000 women aged 16 to 20 and 265 per 100,000 women aged 35 to 39 over a 15-year period.
Whether the birth control used contained a combination of progestin and estrogen or progestin only, the risk of breast cancer was found to be similar.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY ON HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES.
According to Dr. Parvin Peddi, a medical oncologist and director of Breast Medical Oncology for the Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and Associate Professor of Medical Oncology at Saint John’s Cancer Institute in California, it has been established that oral contraceptives marginally elevate the chances of developing breast cancer.
According to Peddi, the purpose of this study was to determine whether progestin-only birth control methods carried a lower risk of breast cancer compared to other delivery modes such as oral, injectable, or intrauterine devices. However, the study ultimately found that all of these methods had a similar increased risk of breast cancer. As a result, Peddi advises that women should not choose progestin-only birth control medication based on the perceived lower risk of breast cancer. It is important to note, however, that the absolute risk of breast cancer from these medications is quite low and should not discourage women from using hormonal birth control.
Despite the potential risk, there are benefits to using hormonal birth control methods. Dr. Monte Swarup explains that combined estrogen/progestin pills have been known for many years to make breast cancer less likely to spread at the time of diagnosis. Hormonal birth control may also help with early detection of cancer, as some breast cancers are estrogen or progestin positive and can be stimulated by these hormones, making them detectable earlier by physical exam or mammogram.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CONTRACEPTION.
A variety of birth control options are available, ranging from abstaining from sex to undergoing permanent surgical procedures to prevent pregnancy. It is recommended by experts that women select a birth control method that is consistent with their values and daily routine. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health PromotionTrusted Source lists various birth control methods, including:
• Abstinence refers to refraining from sexual activity.
• Fertility awareness methods are most effective for women who have regular menstrual cycles. By learning about their body and identifying the days when they are most likely to conceive, they can choose to abstain from sex. However, this method is less effective than using IUDs or hormonal methods.
• Barrier methods, such as male and female condoms, diaphragms, cervical caps, sponges, and spermicides, work by preventing the sperm from reaching the egg.
• The copper intrauterine device (IUD) is a small T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus by a healthcare professional. Paragard, a non-hormonal method, can prevent pregnancy for up to ten years.
• Hormonal methods involve using estrogen, progesterone, or a combination of both. Different forms of hormonal birth control, such as implants, shots, patches, rings, IUDs, or birth control pills, are available by prescription from a healthcare professional.
• Emergency contraception pills, such as Plan B, should be taken within five days of unprotected sex. The effectiveness of the pill increases the sooner it is taken. Some pills are available over-the-counter at a pharmacy.
• Sterilization is a permanent solution that involves vasectomy for men or tubal ligation for women. While reversal of sterilization is sometimes possible, it is not always successful.
The purpose of birth control is to prevent pregnancy, although only male and female condoms offer protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The birth control pill, which typically contains a combination of estrogen and progestin, is the most commonly used form of birth control among American women aged 15-44, according to the National Institutes of Health. Progestin-only birth control methods are primarily recommended for breastfeeding women, as they do not affect milk supply, and for women who cannot use estrogen due to medical conditions such as a history of blood clots. However, this type of contraceptive may be slightly less effective and may cause irregular bleeding. Choosing the most suitable birth control method can be complex and should involve consultation with a medical professional, taking into account the patient’s medical history, objectives, and potential side effects.