The latest news for women who regularly use birth control pills or other contraceptive devices that release hormones, is more than a little alarming. A new study has found that breast cancer has been linked to the use of birth control methods, specifically birth control pills.
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In a report from the New York Times, a new study announced that it concluded that birth control pills or contraceptive devices releasing hormones place women who use them with a small but significant increase in the risk for breast cancer. This is certainly not the first time that birth control pills have been linked to women contracting breast cancer, however this latest studied was conducted on a much larger scale than in the past, with a whopping 1.8 million women.
Via New York Times:
The study, which followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than a decade, upends widely held assumptions about modern contraceptives for younger generations of women. Many women have believed that newer hormonal contraceptives are much safer than those taken by their mothers or grandmothers, which had higher doses of estrogen.
The new paper estimated that for every 100,000 women, hormone contraceptive use causes an additional 13 breast cancer cases a year. That is, for every 100,000 women using hormonal birth control, there are 68 cases of breast cancer annually, compared with 55 cases a year among nonusers.
While a link had been established between birth control pills and breast cancer years ago, this study is the first to examine the risks associated with current formulations of birth control pills and devices in a large population.
Birth control pills are not the only thing that reportedly increases chances of breast cancer, as many other things, including foods and beauty products, have also been linked to the disease in the past. It seems that avoiding the disease entirely is becoming increasingly more challenging.
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1. Myth: Exposing a tumor to air during surgery causes cancer to spread
Surgery doesn’t cause breast cancer or cause it to spread in the body. Doctors are capable of finding cancer in the body through surgery. Some studies have found that by removing the tumor it can cause growth. (Source: Health.com)
2. Myths: Women with small breast have a lower chance of getting breast cancer
There is no correlation between breast size and cancer. In terms of examination, large breasts may be harder to examine even with exams and mammograms. All women should get screened. (Source: Health.com)
3. Myth: Breast implants can raise the risk of getting breast cancer
Research has shown that women with breast implants are not at risk of getting breast cancer but that taking mammograms may be a little harder for them. (Source: Health.com)
4. Myth: Every women has a 1-in-8 chance of getting breast cancer
The older you get the more at risk women are of getting breast cancer. When a woman reaches her 30’s she has a 1-in-233 chance of getting diagnosed with the disease. By the time she’s 85 she’s at a 1-in-8 chance. (Source: Health.com)
5. Myth: If you’re at risk of getting breast cancer there isn’t much you can do.
There is actually a lot a woman can do to lower the risk of breast cancer. Losing weight if they’re obese, engaging in exercise regularly, getting rid of alcohol, having self-examination of their breast and having regular mammograms. Really high-risk women go as far as to have a prophylactic mastectomy to decrease their risk by 90%. (Source: Health.com)
6. Myth: Wearing antiperspirant can increase the risk of breast cancer.
The American Cancer Society isn’t very keen on this but does believe that there needs to be more research on this matter. Studies have shown that parabens used as a preservative in antiperspirants have weak estrogen-like properties and can’t be linked to breast cancer. (Source: Health.com)
7. Myth: You can’t get cancer after a mastectomy
Some women get breast cancer even after getting their breast removed. In a lot of cases, they get breast cancer in the place where it was removed. (Source: Health.com)
8. Myth: Your father’s family history of breast cancer doesn’t affect you as much as your mothers.
A family history of breast cancer on both sides is very important regardless of mother or father. To find out the risk from your father’s side you’ll have to look at the women. (Source: Health.com)
9. Myth: Caffeine causes breast cancer
There is no research to support caffeine being a cause of breast cancer. Instead, research does show that it can lower the risk. (Source: Health.com)
10. Myth: Getting annual mammograms exposes you to radiation that can cause breast cancer.
Radiation is used during mammograms, but the amount is very little and poses no risk. Mammograms are good at finding lumps that couldn’t be found during self-examinations. Women at the age of 40 and above should have a scheduled mammogram every one to two years. (Source: Health.com)
11. Myths: Needle biopsies can disturb cancer cells and cause them to spread to other parts of the body.
There is no evidence that supports this myth. A study done in 2004 found no increased spread of cancer in patients doing needle biopsies compared to those who didn’t have a procedure. (Source: Health.com)
12. Myth: Breast cancer is the, second leading cause of death in the nation after heart disease.
Breast cancer is known to claim the lives of 40,000 women a year in the United States. However, chronic lower respiratory disease (67,000 deaths), stroke (96,000), and lung cancer (71,000) are responsible for more deaths. (Source: Health.com)
13. Myth: If your mammography report is negative, there is nothing to worry about.
Mammograms can’t detect 10-20 percent of breast cancer. Clinical breast exams and even self-breast examinations are important. (Source: Health.com)
14. Myth: Women with a family history of breast cancer are the only ones at risk of getting the disease.
About 70% of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have no known risk factors for the disease. Here are the family-history risk: If anyone in your immediate family, parent, sibling or child has had or has breast cancer then the risk of developing the disease doubles. (Source: Health.com)
15. Myth: Hair straighteners can cause cancer in African American women
A 2007 study by the National Cancer Institute found no increase in breast cancer risk due to relaxers or hair straighteners. The study had African American women who have used straighteners regularly for years. (Source: Health.com)
16. Myth: Overweight women face the same risk of breast cancer as other women.
Being overweight or obese increases a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer. Especially if weight gain happens later in life or past the menopause stage. (Source: Health.com)
17. Myth: Fertility treatments increase the risk of getting breast cancer.
Although estrogen has been connected to breast cancer, fertility treatments have been called into question. Studies have shown that prospective mothers are likley to have no higher risk of breast cancer. (Source: Health.com)
18. Myth: Living near power lines can cause breast cancer.
In 2003 a study was done on in Long Island, NY counties that showed a lot of women getting diagnosed with the disease. The study proved that there was no link between electromagnetic fields emitted by power lines. A Seattle area study was done and had the same results. (Source: Health.com)
19. Myth: Having an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.
Abortion is believed to interrupt hormone cycles during pregnancy and breast cancer is linked to hormone levels. But studies have not been able to find any relationship between the two. (Source: Health.com)
20. Myth: Breast cancer is preventable
Even though risk factors can be found like finding out family history, and lifestyle changes like eating right and exercising the disease occurs by chance. (Source: Health.com)
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