More detailed information about the risk for breast cancer in women using an oral contraceptive has been released by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. According to a new study, the increased risk of developing cancer depends on the estrogen content of the drug.
Luckily for most birth control users, the majority of prescribed pills have low doses of estrogen – these pose no significant risk. Moderate-dose drugs were found to be 1.6 times more likely to cause breast cancer, and high-estrogen pills increased the danger by 2.7 times. Other ingredients such as ehynodiol diacetate and norethindrone also substantially increased cancer development in women.
The study has raised questions, however, about what kind of women are at risk. A similar study done by the New England Journal of Medicine contests these findings, stating that there is no concrete risk for developing breast cancer even after using birth control pills. This study claims to account for race, dosage, family history of cancer, when the patient began using birth control, and other factors. It also focused on an age group that included women over the age of 50 – the first study examined women between 20-49 years of age. Some medical experts have criticized the Fred Hutchinson study for leaving out the older age group, as the risk of developing breast cancer before 50 is "less than 2 percent."
While no factual generalizations can be drawn from these studies, all parties agree that women currently using any oral contraceptive should speak with their doctor before seeking alternative birth control options or stopping their use of the pill. They state that there are many health benefits in using oral birth control that cannot be overlooked.
With so much information available about drugs on the market, making the right choices can feel overwhelming. If your birth control harms you, you should know that manufacturers have a responsibility to keep their products safe for consumers. If you or a loved one were hurt by a dangerous drug, you may have a case.
Contact our law firm today to see what we can do for you. Our phones answer around the clock, and the consultation and advice are free. Talk to us, and we'll fight for you.