Women, Teens on the Pill Risk Breast Cancer, Major Study Says


March 8, 2010

Oral contraception has been closely linked to a certain deadly type of breast cancer, a leading cancer journal stated recently, and the results may prove to challenge the breast cancer research community.

A study concerning the deadly “triple negative” breast cancer, involving more than 1500 women aged 20 – 45, found a “distinct etiology,” or cause and effect, for women who used oral contraception for longer than a year, and an even stronger correlation for women who began using it before the age of 18.

The study was published in the April 2009 Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention over a five-year period. The study’s main author, Jessica Dolle, and other researchers at the Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, found that oral contraceptive use for a year or more “was associated with a 2.7-fold increased risk for triple-negative breast cancer.” Triple negative breast cancer is a subtype of cancer associated with a high mortality rate.

Various Causes

“Specifically,” the study said, “older age, family history of breast cancer, earlier menarche age [beginning of menstruation], induced abortion, and oral contraceptive use were associated with an increased risk for breast cancer.”

“Our study has the strength of being population based and is the largest of its kind to evaluate breast cancer subtypes and etiologic [causation] differences in young women,” the study said.

Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the United States, according to the NCI. Nearly 200,000 women were diagnosed in the U.S. last year with breast cancer.

In the light of recent studies such as the Dolle report, many experts believe women should be educated about the dangers of oral contraceptives and breast cancer.

Women in Phoenix, AZ, as well as Peoria, Glendale, Tempe, Mesa, Avondale and other cities can learn more about the dangers of oral contraceptives by calling Life Choices Women’s Clinics at 602-305-5100.



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.