Boston, Mass., Dec 7, 2017 / 15:21 pm
A recent Danish study shows that women on any kind of hormonal birth control are susceptible to an increased risk of breast cancer, upending the common belief that modern methods of hormonal birth control are safer than those of decades past.
The research published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine included a group of 1.8 million women between the ages of 15-49 over the course of more than ten years. Of the 1.8 million, there were 11,517 cases of breast cancer.
According to NPR, the leader of the study, Lina Morch, said it found “a roughly 20 percent increased risk [of breast cancer] among women who currently use some type of hormonal contraception” compared to those who used non-hormal contraceptives.
Additionally, the research found that for every 100,000 women on hormonal birth control, there are 68 cases of breast cancer every year, compared to 55 among those not using hormonal birth control.
The study highlights modern methods of birth control, including pills, intrauterine devices which release hormones, and other implants.
While the link to breast cancer from older methods of birth control was widely known, this study was able to provide evidence that even modern methods of hormonal birth control, such as hormone releasing IUDs, are still causing breast cancer in women.
“This is an important study because we had no idea how the modern day pills compared to the old-fashioned pills in terms of breast cancer risk, and we didn’t know anything about I.U.D.’s,” said Dr. Marisa Weiss, an oncologist, according to the New York Times.
“…if you add up all the millions of women taking the pill, it is a significant public health concern,” Weiss continued.