A small increased risk of cancer among women using a hormonal contraceptive may be cancelled out by the pill’s protective effects. According to a Danish study, reported last week on finding more breasts cancer conditions among women who use hormone-based contraceptive methods, a lot of women were left fascinated: How significant is the chance, and what exactly are the alternatives?
The answer changes for every female and will rely upon such factors as her age, health, wellness and her other risks for the breast cancer. But many doctors who recommend contraceptives say there is absolutely no security alarm — and no women should dispose of her pills and risk an unwanted pregnancy.
The increased breasts cancer risk discovered among hormone users in the analysis was small. For almost all women in their 20s and 30s, breast cancer is rare, to begin with, so this modest increase would not amount to many additional cases.
A complex link where contraceptive pills may somewhat raise the probability of a breast tumour — and also have been associated with rises in cervical cancer, as well –the contraceptive’s relationship with cancer is complex.
Oral contraceptives may actually reduce the occurrence of some less common reproductive cancer, like endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer, detected at an advanced stage, when it’s hard to take care of. There are some research evidence that contraceptive pills could also reduce the probability of colorectal cancer.
A British study more than 46,000 women who were recruited in 1968, through the start of the tablet, and followed for 44 years discovered that despite boosts in breasts and cervical cancer among those who used the pills, the result on overall cancers rates was natural because other cancers were reduced.
“In aggregate, over a woman’s lifetime, contraceptive use might prevent more cancers” than it causes, said David J. Hunter, a professor of epidemiology and medicine at the University of Oxford in Britain, who wrote a commentary on the Danish study published in The New England Journal of Medicine last week.
“There is good data to show that five or more years of oral contraceptive use substantially reduces ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer risk, and may reduce colorectal cancer,” he said. “And the protection persists for 10 or 20 years after cessation.”
While the new study’s findings of breast cancer are important, “these results are not a cause for alarm,” said Dr JoAnn E. Manson, a professor of women’s health at Harvard Medical School and chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Source- The Hindu