Can Birth Control Pills Cause Breast Cancer?
Almost all the women if not all the women on planet earth know a bit about breast cancer. That’s a given because for some years now there has been so much awareness about this cancer type. The causes and the symptoms that come with it. This cancer is the most common invasive cancer that you can find in women. And next to lung cancer is the second cause of death among women. Of course, this indicates a high risk among women. People have come with different causes of this cancer. And one of the stipulated cause is birth control. Can birth control cause breast cancer? Well, you’ll find out the answer here.
For some years now, there have been signs of improvement as to the survival rate of women with this cancer. At the same time, it has been stipulated that more women would still be diagnosed with invasive and noninvasive breast cancer. That’s why awareness is still very important. Once a woman has an idea of what the symptoms are, it would be easy to curb it before it gets any worse. Well, that’s not our main focus for today. We’ll just be having a look at the possibility of birth control causing breast cancer. And also some other risk factors of this cancer.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
So one of the early signs of breast cancer is the formation of a lump that looks like a thickened tissue in the breast. Sometimes, the lump can be found in the armpit. Let’s take a look at some of the other symptoms.
- Pain in the breasts and armpits that does not change even during the monthly cycle
- A rash on one or both nipples
- Redness of the breast
- Inverted or sunken nipple
- Secretions from the nipple, usually bloody
- A change in the shape and size of the breast
- Scaling and flaking of the skin around the nipple or on the breast
Most of the lumps that develop in the breast are not cancerous. But it’s important that even at that you visit your doctor for a checkup once you find a lump in the breast.
Also, there’s a staging system for breast cancer. Once you visit your doctor, your doctor would be able to tell if it’s stage 1-4. And with this, the doctor would know how severe it is and the possible treatment for it.
Can Birth Control Cause Breast Cancer?
Cancer occurs when the cells in the body begin to grow abnormally. So in the case of breast cancer, it is when the cells in the breast start to grow abnormally. This, in the end, leads to the formation of a tumor. The tumor formed can be felt as a lump or can be seen on the x-ray.
Now to the question, can birth control cause breast cancer? Well, there has been some research on this topic. And the results are mixed. The reason for this is probably because of the change in the level of hormones found in pills over the years.
Birth control pills that were produced in the early years contained a lot of hormones. The ones produced now has a lower level of hormones. That’s why the former is known to pose a higher risk of causing breast cancer.
Some people have concerns that because of the hormones in pills there might be an overstimulation of the breast. And overstimulation of the breast may increase the risk of the cells growing out of proportion.
Certain people are at higher risk of having breast cancer such as:
- People with a family history of breast cancer
- People that had breast biopsies with abnormal results
- For people that have an abnormal gene for breast cancer, this is applicable if a family member has it
With so many studies out there on this topic, they have not found an increased risk of having breast cancer when you use birth control. At the same time, there are research studies that suggest that certain factors can increase the risk. The factors are:
- The duration of using the pill: Some studies show that using pills for a long time would lead to an increased risk. Past use hasn’t been linked to an increased risk. But using it currently has been linked to an increased risk.
- Type of pill: There are possibilities that pills that have higher doses of estrogen can be linked to an increased risk. It is believed that it could double the risk of having this cancer.
Other Factors That Increase The Risk of Having Breast Cancer
Since the exact cause of breast cancer isn’t known, people have come up with risk factors. These risk factors increase the chances of a person having this type of cancer. The risk factors are:
- Age: As a person increases in age the chances of having this cancer increases.
- Genetics: People that have relatives that have or have had breast cancer are at increased risk of having this cancer. Also, women that carry genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2 are at increased risk.
- Bodyweight: People that are overweight or obese after menopausal age have higher chances of having breast cancer. And that’s possible because of the increased level of estrogen. Also, a high sugar intake of the person can be a contributing factor.
- Radiation exposure: Constant radiation exposure is believed to increase the risk of the patient having breast cancer in the later stages of life.
- Consumption of alcohol: Consuming alcohol at an increased rate is also believed to have a role in increasing the risk of developing breast cancer.
So these are some of the factors that can increase a person’s risk of having breast cancer. But one of the most researched and talked about is the effect of birth control. It’s advised that if you have a family history of breast cancer don’t start taking pills without speaking to your doctor. Speaking to your doctor would provide you with the information needed as to whether it’s safe to use to not. For now, make sure you bear in mind the results gotten from the research on, can birth control cause breast cancer.