Are there risks of breast cancer if you take birth control pills? Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women worldwide and includes one-quarter of all cases. Many people have the believe that all birth control pills increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. However, that’s not the whole story. It turns out if women have had past problems with breast cancer certain kinds of birth control pills could increase the risk of breast cancer. It’s critical to know which ones could trigger that result and why you should avoid them like birth control pills and breast cancer history.
Certain kinds of oral contraceptives seem to increase the risk of breast cancer. However, there are various other factors. They include the patient’s age and whether or not she has a family history of breast cancer. This is due to certain breast cancer genes that can increase the patient’s risk of getting breast cancer. These factors can all play a role in the risk of a woman getting breast cancer. However, it’s always critical to keep in mind that there are several factors involved. Even the issue of whether or not the patient has had breast cancer in the past is an issue.
What Exactly Is Breast Cancer?
This is a serious disease that involves out-of-control growth of the patient’s breast cells. This is all related to how cancer itself develops in patients. Cancer involves abnormal changes in the various genes that regulate cell growth and keep the body cells healthy.
These genes are located in the center of each cell or its “nucleus.” This helps to keep them healthy. The nucleus function as a sort of “control room” for each cell. In normal cases, the body’s cells use cell growth to replace old cells.
This process involves the new cells taking the place of old cells as they die. However, the problem is strange changes known as “mutations” cause some genes to get turned on/off in the cell. The altered cell can then keep dividing on its own. Over time the cells make more cells and make a tumor.
There are two main kinds of tumors. One is “benign” (non-cancerous) and then the other is malignant (cancerous). It can be tough to deal with benign tumors. However, the good news is that there are no cancer cells.
They’re different from cancerous tumors that attack other cells close to them. Sometimes this causes cancer to spread to different body parts.
“Breast cancer” is a kind of cancerous tumor that develops from breast cells. Cancer can happen in different parts of the breast. This includes milk-making glands or areas that drain the milk.
As time passes cancer cells might attack healthy breast tissue that’s nearby. It might also move to small under-arm organs that filter bad stuff from the body. This makes cancer more complicated. That’s because it can then spread to other body parts.
A breast cancer’s “stage” is related to the distance breast cancer cells have spread past the first tumor. Meanwhile, up to 90% of breast cancer is due to genetic problems related to age and the normal aging process.
Birth Control Pills and Breast Cancer History
Birth control pills have been available in the US since the early 1960s. There’s a big debate about whether they’re linked to breast cancer.
As always, it’s important to weigh the benefits and risks of birth control pills. They’re generally quite safe for women under 50 years old with no past breast cancer and a family history of breast cancer.
Some studies show that there’s a somewhat greater risk of breast cancer when a woman has a history of breast cancer and the pills are high in hormones like estrogen. In this case, it’s strongly recommended that women consider not taking birth control pills.
There’s a big debate among health experts about whether birth control pills are a major risk for breast cancer. One caveat is the early birth control pills on the market had a much higher amount of hormones than today’s pills. So, in general, today’s oral contraceptives are safer in terms of the general amount of hormones they contain. However, this figure is different for different products.
Some studies seem to suggest birth control pills are linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. One Scandinavian study concluded. Women’s cancer risk increased during birth control use and dropped after they stopped taking the pill.
Meanwhile, other studies show that there’s no link between oral contraceptives and a higher risk of breast cancer. This includes a study that was done between 1994 and 1998. So there have been mixed results about the issue.
One big question is if women whose families have a history of breast cancer ought to take birth control pills. One study showed that this causes an 11x higher risk if they have ever used birth control pills.
However, it’s been pointed out that this involved women who took birth control before 1975. That’s when they continued higher levels of female hormones compared to today’s pills.
Tips to Help Avoid Breast Cancer
1. Don’t smoke/Quit smoking
This is something you should consider doing for various reasons anyway. However, studies show there’s a connection between breast cancer risk and smoking. This is especially among pre-menopausal women. If you don’t smoke then avoid starting. If you smoke then consider smoking your last cigarette/e-cigarette.
2. Eat a healthy diet
Studies show that this step might lower your risk of some kinds of cancer, and other serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. One example is the Mediterranean Diet. Studies show that this diet with olive oil/mixed nuts might help to lower the risk of cancer.
3. Stay physically active
This is an important step to take for various reasons. It can help you stay at a healthy weight, which might help to prevent the development of breast cancer. It’s recommended that you exercise 150+ minutes/week doing moderate exercise. You should also consider strength training 2+ times per week. You can also get in physical activity through methods like hobbies and sports.
This might seem unrelated to breast cancer. However, studies show that it might help to reduce your risk of cancer. Studies also show that if you breast-feed longer it might also boost how much protection you get from the activity. Health experts generally recommend new mothers breast-feed during the first year after their newborn’s birth.
5. Reduce alcohol
It’s important to lower your alcohol consumption to lower your chance of breast cancer. Even if you’re at a high risk of breast cancer taking this step can help.
Studies show that a good guideline is to drink less than one alcoholic drink per day. It seems that even a small amount of alcohol can increase your risk of breast cancer. This can help along with learning facts about birth control pills and breast cancer history.