A new research suggests, taking contraceptive pills can increase a woman’s chances of having breast cancer.
A detailed study from the University of Michigan has revealed that some very common birth control pills may increase the levels of synthetic oestrogen and progesterone hormones in the body about four times more than required.
It is thought to play a major part in stimulating breast cancer tumours to grow, which is why some breast cancer patients are prescribed hormone therapy (treatment) to combat the effects of cancer.
The research showed that blood samples obtained from women who use birth control pills contained much higher levels of hormones compared to women who do not.
Several tests conducted revealed that four out of seven formulations contained four times the levels of progestin (a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone).
Another blood sample formulation showed 40% higher levels of ethinyl estradiol (a synthetic version of oestrogen).
Beverly Strassmann, the study’s lead author, and human evolutionary biologist, emphasised that the contraceptive pill has played such a positive effect on the lives of so many women throughout the years hence it is important for companies to design birth control pills in such a way that it doesn’t increase the risk of breast cancer.
She said, “Not enough has changed over the generations of these drugs and given how many people take hormonal birth control worldwide — millions — the pharmaceutical industry shouldn’t rest on its laurels.”
Breast Cancer Prevention Institute released a statement, ”Birth control pills can directly damage DNA causing mutations or cancer.”
However, as advised by the Cancer Research UK, as little as one per cent of breast cancers in women are caused by oral contraceptive pills.
A research conducted by the organisation states, “The protective effects of the pill against womb and ovarian cancers last longer than the increased risks of breast and cervical cancers. Overall, this means that the protective effects outweigh the increased risk of cancer if you look at all women who have taken the pill.”