New research has found taking birth control pills could increase the risk of breast cancer more than previously thought.
A University of Michigan study has found that some commonly prescribed birth control pills may quadruple levels of synthetic estrogen and progesterone hormones.
High levels of estrogen and progesterone can play a part in motivating some breast cancers to grow, which is why some breast cancer patients are prescribed hormone therapy to block the effect of these hormones on cancer cells.
The study authors stressed that the pill has had a positive effect on many women’s lives, so manufacturers need to ensure they’re creating formulations that limit breast cancer risk.
Kalei Snyber wasn't surprised to learn the about the life-threatening side effects birth control could have on women’s bodies.
She threw her pills in trash years ago, after she had enough.
“I starting getting depression, I started gaining weight and i was always having mood swings and I was not happy,” says Snyber.
Dr. Cesar Lara says birth control is basically made up of synthetic hormones. That’s the reason Lara limits how many years his patients are on the pill.
“When I start a female on birth control, I make the point that I don't want them on it for more than 10 years. That's because the risk of developing other secondary problems like breast increase after 10 years,” Lara says.
She explains unless you’re trying to prevent pregnancy, the pill isn't a good idea. If you're dealing with menopause and polycystic ovarian syndrome,
She says taking birth control is like putting a bandage on, it's not treating the problem.
“We get a lot of our education from the pharmaceutical companies. who come into our practice and many times we don’t have time to review them in more detail,” he says.
Bottom line, do your own research and always get that second opinion.
If you're not taking the pill and thinking this doesn't apply to you, listen to this.
Many of the same hormones linked to an increased cancer or blood clot risk are used in other forms of birth control like Plan B and IUD's
The FDA approved the birth control pill in 1960.
While the pill and sterilization have been the most common methods to prevent pregnancy, there are some other options.
- The Depo shot, which a nurse or a doctor can give you every three months.
- The patch, which you wear on your skin monthly and condoms for men and women.
One challenge when it comes to figuring out what's best for you is researchers overlook the differences between men and women.
A federal law took effect back in 1993 requiring women and minorities to be included in trials funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office finds more women are getting enrolled in trials because of that law.
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