Women who used high-estrogen birth control, and several other formulas, were found to have an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s journal, Cancer Research.
Elisabeth F. Beaber, Ph.D., a staff scientist at the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, says that the results of the study show an increase in risk of breast cancer in women who had taken certain formulas of oral contraceptive in the last year.
“Our results require confirmation and should be interpreted cautiously,” Beaber said in a statement. She added that breast cancer is rare among young women, and the benefits of taking oral contraceptives need to be taken into consideration when considering the risk. But the findings may lead women to choose different types of birth control than they had previously been using.
The study found that women taking high-dose estrogen birth control pills had an increased breast cancer risk 2.7 times higher than a women not taking the contraceptives. Women taking moderate-dose estrogen pills had a risk increase of 1.6 times. Low-dose estrogen pills were not found to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Many previous studies of this nature were solely based on self-reported data. This particular study, the first of its kind, used pharmacy records in order to delve into the drug names, duration of treatment, and dosage, for a more accurate reading.
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