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What is the risk of breast cancer when using hormonal contraception?

Worldwide, oral contraception is reportedly a very effective birth control strategy. The risk of breast cancer linked to the use of combined oral contraceptives (COCs) and progesterone-only contraception, however, was examined in a recent study (POC).

Most of the time, COCs with both progesterone and estrogen are administered instead of progesterone alone. According to earlier research, utilizing COCs may slightly raise the risk of developing breast cancer. But, a decade after the use is stopped, the danger is reduced. POP use is increasing, but little is known about this risk because it has been rather uncommon up until now.

The Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD), a UK database, was used to get the data for this investigation.

The use of a hormonal contraception was linked to 44% of breast cancers in this group, the researchers discovered. The prescription was typically written three years prior to the diagnosis. In addition, 39% of controls had had a prescription for a hormonal contraception on average three years before to cancer diagnosis. In both cases, POC received half of the prescribed medications.

All hormonal contraceptive methods, including COCs, oral POC, injectable POC, and progesterone-releasing intrauterine devices, increased the risk of breast cancer (PIUDs). The first three saw an increase of nearly a quarter. With the PIUD, the risk was 32%, in contrast.

Any POC usage, whether current or recent, increased risk, with injectable POC or PIUDs having a 20% higher risk.

Understanding POC’s hazards is crucial given that half of all prescriptions for hormonal contraception in the UK are now written for it. Regardless of estrogen content or method of use, the current study demonstrates an increase in breast cancer risk with hormonal contraception.

Progestogen-releasing intrauterine devices and injectable, implantable, or oral progesterone are all associated with a similar degree of elevated risk.

The absolute excess of cases linked with oral contraception climbs by a factor of 40 in the fourth decade, increasing by 265 instances per 100,000 women. The risk-benefit ratio for breast cancer risk would seem to favor using oral contraceptives earlier in life (16–20 years) rather than then.