Don't skip mammograms if you have a progesterone IUD
Planning when to get your first mammogram is something to discuss with your gyno. It's very difficult to determine an individual's cancer risks as you have to study large group of women over long periods of time. Your gyno can estimate your personal cancer risk when combining her knowledge of research studies and her knowledge of your personal risk factors and personal breast cancer protection factors. Of course your gyno is going to weigh other cancer risks when giving you contraceptive advice as described on the American Cancer Society stay healthy page.
A levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine device (IUD) will significantly protect users against cancers of the endometrium, ovary, pancreas, and lung, but some new evidence says the use of the medicated IUDs may increase their risk for breast cancer, according to a new study by Tuuli Soini, MD, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hyvinkää Hospital, Finland, and colleagues write in an article (Obstet Gynecol. 2014;124:292-299) published in the August issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Using data from administrative registers in Finland, Dr. Soini and coauthors analyzed data on all Finnish women between 30 and 49 years of age who used the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD between 1994 and 2007 for the treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding also known as menorrhagia. The cancer incidence among users of the hormone-releasing IUD was 7% higher than expected compared with women who did not use the IUD. Among women had received at least 2 IUDs, there was an excess risk of 20%.
This research study helps give advice when sorting your cancer risk with your gyno is a reason to get your annual gynecologic examination, even if it's not time for your annual pap smear.And when discussing health, consider your overall all cancer risk, not just gynecologic. Some cancers were lower than the non-using general population including uterine, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers, and breast cancers accounted for most of the excess risk of cancer cases. Over 5 years of IUD use in this study significantly increased risk. Since these women specifically had disordered menstrual bleeding, it's possibly they have other risk factors that were not obvious from this study.
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