Hormonal birth control linked to uptick in breast cancer cases - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Hormonal birth control linked to uptick in breast cancer cases

New evidence shows birth control containing hormones increases the breast cancer risk by 20 percent. (Photo source: NBC News) New evidence shows birth control containing hormones increases the breast cancer risk by 20 percent. (Photo source: NBC News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Breast cancer is a ferocious beast.

According to the American Cancer Society, one in eight women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.

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Every year thousands of families are ripped apart by the deadly disease, and something millions of women use every day is now increasing the risk of being diagnosed.

NBC News is reporting that new evidence shows birth control containing hormones increases a woman's risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer by 20 percent.

The study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than a decade and found 68 additional women per year, who take hormonal birth control pills, were diagnosed with breast cancer. The study also found it's not just pills increasing the risk of cancer, but any contraception that uses hormones, including the vaginal ring, certain IUDs and the patch.

Thirteen additional cases were reported per year in women who use those methods of contraception. 

Every year, nearly 10 million women use oral contraceptives, and about 1.5 million of them use it for reasons other than birth control.

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Because the risk of breast cancer increases with age, doctors say women should look into switching to a hormone-free birth control method, like using condoms, a diaphragm, or the copper IUD.

There is a silver lining to this -- hormonal birth control is also proven to lower a woman's risk of developing ovarian and endometrial cancers later on in life.

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