Summary: Oral Contraceptives Associated with Breast Cancer

Oral contraceptive use is associated with an increase in breast cancer risk among pre-menopausal women or women younger than 50 years old.

  • Study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2006 explored the possible association between oral contraceptive use and risk of developing breast cancer. The researchers carried out a meta-analysis of case-control studies conducted in 1980 or later in order to investigate the possible connection between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women. (The researchers assumed that most women under 50 years old were pre-menopausal). After searching the MEDLINE and PubMed databases for studies, 34 eligible studies were found. Overall, oral contraceptive use was associated with an increase in breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women. Additionally, the greatest risk appears to be for women who have given birth and used oral contraceptives before their first full-term pregnancy.1

1Oral Contraceptive Use as a Risk Factor for Premenopausal Breast Cancer: A Meta-Analysis. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. October 2006. 81(10): 1290-1302.

 

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