Research shows hormonal contraception increases breast cancer risk.
Since the 1960s, when the birth control pill made its debut, contraceptives have played a major role in family planning. So when researchers discovered that women taking hormone-based birth control had a higher incidence of breast cancer, making the contraceptives safer became an important public health priority. Many experts believed they found a solution in options with far lower doses of estrogen, a hormone long linked to breast cancer occurrence. But a new study suggests that low-dose contraceptives have not had the impact doctors expected, and experts are urging women to talk to their doctors about the implications for their breast health, even though the overall risk remains relatively small.
The study, published in December in The New England Journal of Medicine, followed 1.8 million women for an average of about 11 years, finding that those on hormonal contraception had a 20 percent higher risk of…
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