Is there any relation between oral contraceptives and breast cancer? This question has been haunting women like a dreadful nightmare and in this article, we would uncover the link between them.
The possibility of putting birth control pills and breast cancer together can spark a healthy debate between health professionals. There are various studies in the world which claim that birth pills can be one of the causes of breast cancer in women, but these claims are rejected openly by some medical journals which claim that there is no link between the two. So which claim is right? Do birth control pills really cause breast cancer or is it just a healthy contraceptive? Before coming to the main issue, let’s first find out what are birth control pills and what is breast cancer?
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills or contraceptives also known as ‘The Pill’ is a medication used by women to prevent unplanned pregnancy. We all know that hormones control the daily functions of the body and the two chief ingredients of birth control pills are hormones known as estrogen and progestin. The hormones in the pill do the work of controlling the function of the ovaries and uterus. They prevent ovulation (release of the egg) during the normal monthly cycle. If the egg is not fertilized then there’s no chance that a woman can get pregnant. This pill also makes sure that the male semen cannot enter the female’s uterus by thickening the mucus around the cervix.
Today, breast cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world affecting millions of women all around the world. Breast cancer occurs when tissues of the breast undergo some genetic change which cause them to multiply rapidly and form tumors. While the exact cause of breast cancer is still unknown, a number of genetic and lifestyle factors are rumored to contribute to breast cancer. Women are 1000 times more prone to breast cancer than men. This is because of female sex hormones like progesterone and estrogen which provide a green signal for breast cancer tumors.
Is There Any Link Between Oral Contraceptives and Breast Cancer?
Since their debut in the medicinal market in 1960s, birth control pills have become the IN thing. They are still one of the most popular and effective form of birth control in the US and around the world. However, the recent debate of breast cancer being a potential side effect has really scared many women and many want to know if it’s true.
Can birth control pills cause breast cancer? Yes and No. Studies have tried to examine the use of oral contraceptives causing breast cancer and have come up with some contradictory results. Some doctors think that the hormones used to make pills earlier are very different from the hormones that are used to make pills now. Some Scandinavian researchers claim that women taking these pills have a higher chance of getting breast cancer. They also noted that once they stopped taking birth control pills the chance of getting breast cancer came to a minimum.
One more interesting fact about breast cancer is that women who are born in families with breast cancer survivors are more likely to suffer from breast cancer. According to a medical report published by the American Medical Association, women with a strong family history of breast cancer are 11 times more prone to the disease if they consume birth control pills. However, many health experts say that this risk was only higher till 1975 because at those times pills contained high levels of estrogen and progestin. A recent study suggests that women who are above 35 years have a higher risk of suffering from breast cancer if they take the pill. Sure, the pill protects the woman from any unwanted pregnancies but it does come with its share of side effects and many women who consume the pill know it.
So is there any relation between birth control pills and breast cancer? It’s hard to tell because no doctor in the world has a definite answer. Some of them say it causes breast cancer and some say it doesn’t. Medicines are complicated and they show different reactions in different bodies, maybe oral contraceptives are good for some women and bad for some. In the end it’s probably the woman who has to make this choice and it’s advised that they probably seek medical advice from their doctor before taking birth control pills.