Science and Nature News in Brief: Birth control pills increase breast cancer risk
According to new Danish research, the longer a woman has used birth control pills, the greater the risk she has of developing breast cancer.
The research, carried out by the city hospital Rigshospitalet, showed that women aged 15-49 who consumed birth control pills or used hormonal contraception were, on average, 20 percent more susceptible to getting breast cancer than women who didn’t take any pills.
The results were published recently in the prestigious scientific journal, New England Journal of Medicine.
“It’s the first time that we have a study of this size that has documented the risk of breast cancer compared to how long the woman has used the contraception,” Øjvind Lidegaard, a professor at Rigshospitalet and senior author of the research, told Politiken newspaper.
The research showed that 68 out of 100,000 women aged 15-49 who used hormonal contraception got breast cancer over the course of a year – compared to just 55 out of 100,000 women who didn’t use hormonal contraception.
The study also showed that the risk of getting breast cancer increased the longer the woman used a hormonal contraception product. After the first year, the risk was at 9 percent, but after a decade the risk had grown to 38 percent.
The news comes hot on the heels of a recent Danish study that showed that all forms of hormonal contraception lead to markedly more suicides and suicide attempts. Lidegaard was behind those findings as well.
Earlier this year it emerged that Danish women rank first among the Nordic countries in use of medically prescribed contraceptives.
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