Today’s Hormone Contraceptives Fail to Lower Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds

Today’s Hormone Contraceptives Fail to Lower Risk of Breast Cancer, Study Finds
The risk of breast cancer continues to be higher among women who use or have recently used today's hormone contraceptives than women who have never used them, a study shows. It showed that a new generation of the contraceptives have done nothing to lower the risk. The research, “Contemporary Hormonal Contraception and the Risk of Breast Cancer,” was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. An estimated 140 million women worldwide use hormone contraceptives. They can be delivered in a number of ways besides birth control pills. The female hormones estrogen and progestin prevent ovulation, or the release of eggs needed for pregnancy. But estrogen, which is used in pills, promotes the development of breast cancer. Previous studies showed a correlation between oral contraceptives and breast cancer risk. Scientists studied the link between the two when estrogen doses in contraceptives were higher, however. Among today's hormone contraceptives are new forms of progestin treatments and hormone injections. There are also uterine implants that release progestin or another hormone, levonorgestrel, and vaginal rings and skin patches that release hormones. Because there has been little research on the risk of breast cancer in women who use modern forms of birth control, a Danish research team decided to do a 10-year study of 1.8 million between the ages of 15 and 49. They used a nationwide registry that included information on women's use of hormone contraceptives and whether they developed breast cancer. The key finding surprised them. It was that the breast cancer risk of women who were
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