Let’s start the morning off with some controversial and depressing news:
Unfortunately for the more than 10 million American women who take oral contraceptives, hardly anyone reported that the World Health Organization also classified the combination Pill as a carcinogen. In fact, the Pill continues to be the most popular method of contraception in this country, particularly for women under the age of 30. A little over a year after the World Health Organization announced its findings, the prestigious medical journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings published an article called “Oral Contraceptive Use as a Risk Factor for Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-analysis.” This analysis assessed the results of 34 studies conducted since 1980 to examine the possible association between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk in women younger than 50, and came to following conclusion: “Consistent with the recent International Agency for Research on Cancer classification of OCs as group 1 carcinogens, this meta-analysis suggests that OCs are associated with an increase in premenopausal breast cancer risk, especially among women who use OCs before FFTP [first full-term pregnancy].”
Even more recently, a 2009 study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that “a year or more of oral contraceptive use was associated with a 4.2-fold increased risk of triple-negative breast cancer for women 40 and under.
This spring marks the 55th anniversary of the birth control pill. I think it’s a good opportunity to talk about the link between the pill and breast cancer. If we’re truly pro-woman, we need to be pro-informed consent. Being left in the dark about the pill’s very real side effects isn’t empowering or liberating.by