Breast Cancer and Contraception

Can contraception cause breast cancer? Remember that having breast fed a baby can be a protection against breast cancer, and infertility treatments can increase your risk of breast cancer. So when making your contraceptive decisions, be sure to talk to your gyno about both sides! If you don't contracept are you going to try for pregnancy? We tell patients that when  making the decision regarding contraception it's also important to have your gyno consider what health concerns and risks you have as an individual, and then there are potential risks that all women should consider. Oral contraceptive pills generally prevent female genital cancers. Women will have fewer ovarian and uterine cancers if they stay on birth control  pills for a few years. The protection against ovarian and uterine cancer extends to all the other hormonal contraceptive methods that are similar: patches, rings (to some extent). Since all women in America run a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 1/7, it's always a topic of discussion: what are the risks of getting breast cancer if you use various methods of contraception. National Cancer institute says that young women, from 15 to 34 have a breast cancer rate of  about 8.7 women per 100, 000. On DepoProvera, the three month injectable contraception (DMPA) this increases by a factor of 2.1 times, so that on DMPA the breast cancer rate is 19 per 100,000 women. Many studies looking at birth control pills and breast cancer have been done over the years. The information has not always been consistent. One fact that is intersting is that being on the birth control pill reduces breast cysts and breast lumps that are not cancerous! Staying on birth control pills reduces a woman's chance of having fibrocystic breasts by 50%. This works because in a normal ovulation cycle the estrogen produced increases what is called breast cell proliferation, or what can be thought of as breast cell growth. In many studies, though, in spite of this protection against fibrocystic breasts, it has been shown that there is a small amount of increased risk from using birth control pills. The risk is small, but the increase in risk is about 1.2, or a 20% increased risk. Although other studies didn't show risk, if you believe the studies that do say birth control pills increase breast cancer risk then know that this risk will last for about a decade after you stop birth control pills. Oddly, the risk doesn't vary with the type of pill or dosage of hormone in the pill. Also, very interestingly, breast cancer is less likely to have distant spread if when it was diagnosed when the patient was on birth control pills. Most of these studies have not shown that birth control pill use in women with family risk of breast cancer is any different than the average user. But before making the decision to use birth control pills if you are at risk for breast cancer you should have a personal talk with your own gyno.


  1. Breast cancer is one of dangerous disease among the women.Your information is really helpful for the women.Thank you for giving such a valuable information.
    Regards:oncology surgery india


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