Breast Cancer and The Pill Connection

Breast Cancer and The Pill Connection

The Breast Cancer and Contraceptive Pill Connection….only one drug in the whole world is as well-known as the oral contraception device known as simply “the pill.” For over forty years now, more women have taken the birth control pill more than all other prescribed medications combined.

The Contraceptive Pill:

Sex, becoming pregnant, and means of avoiding pregnancy have always been hot and debated topics. When the United States Government approved this form of contraception in 1960, possibilities for avoiding pregnancy opened up drastically. Most women, and many men, welcomed this new-found means of contraception.

Most medications are designed for therapeutic purposes. Oral contraception was the first drug introduced that was for purely social purposes. This medication became an overnight sensation in the ’60s, so much so that it invited the Senate to investigate the safety of the product.

The Senate debated that high doses of the birth control pill posed potentially deadly side effects for women. Because of these hearings, doctors were then made to warn potential patients about the risks associated with taking the pill, especially if the women were over 35, had a history of smoking, or a family history of blood clots.

The Lower Dosage Contraceptive Pill:

By the 1980s, the high dose pill was pulled from shelves and replaced with lower dosages. Nowadays, women can get a pill that does the same thing with only a tenth of the original amount of hormones included.

From the very introduction of the birth control oral contraceptive, many women complained about the side effects of this form of birth control, and thus changed back to other methods they had been using prior to the pill’s inception. Because of the nature of the pharmaceutical industry, women that wished to discuss the harmful side effects of oral contraception were often met with frustrated doctors.

Many doctors simply dismissed the complaints as simple exaggeration. In other instances, the doctors would simply state that this was the price one had to pay for a contraception method that worked. This was merely compounded by the fact that women were never warned about the potential death risks and other complications involved. Nowadays, it is commonplace for doctors to instruct their patients about the risks associated with taking any prescribed medication.

Breast Cancer and the Pill – An Increased Risk:

However, much of the safety of the pill of today is still only assumed. It is vital to note that many of the hormones that are found in the birth control pill are the very same as those in hormone replacement therapy, or HRT. HRT has come into question as of late, due to the fact that many women are experiencing an increase in breast cancer and signs of heart disease.

In October of 2004, studies were released that stated oral contraceptives actually reduced a woman’s risk of breast and other forms of cancer, as well as heart disease, and stroke. However, it has since been found that the results that concluded in this finding were misguided.

Breast cancer and the Pill does carry risks & even the lower dose pills of today have yet to undergo stringent government testing and so it is highly advised that those thinking of oral contraceptives should exercise due caution.