by intern Anne Marie
Perhaps the best-kept secret of modern medicine is the link between oral contraceptives and increased breast cancer risk.
While combined oral contraceptives, better known as The Pill, rank as Group I carcinogens according to a 2005 report released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, doctors continue to routinely prescribe the pill for a variety of conditions, ranging from acne to birth control (American Cancer Society, 2008)....
Combined oral contraceptives are composed of estrogen and progesterone or progestin, a synthetic form of progesterone. Estrogen and progesterone are female sex hormones; estrogen thickens the lining of the uterus, and progesterone/progestin prepares the endometrium for implantation of the egg. (National Cancer Institute, 2006).
The reasoning behind a combination of estrogen and progesterone/progestin is that estrogen given on its own increases the risk of uterine cancer. Taking a combination of the 2 confers protection from uterine cancer but increases breast cancer risk.
In short, the science behind the increased breast cancer risk stems from 2 primary mechanisms. In both instances, progesterone/progestin becomes a double-edged sword, as it confers protection from increased uterine cancer risk but "gives permission" for estrogen to negatively affect breast DNA.
First, the combination of estrogen plus progesterone/progestin functions as a genotoxin, meaning it directly damages DNA in the breast. Several estrogen metabolites, or breakdown products, including 4-hydroxy-catechol-estrogen quinine, have been proven to function in this manner (Lanfranchi, 2007).
Second, estrogen functions as a mitogen, or cancer promoter, and estrogen promotes cancer in 2 ways. As seen in the graph, it stimulates an explosion of rapid proliferation of cells in breast lobules, causing a greater likelihood of mutations with the increased rate of division.
Additionally, estrogen promotes speedier development of any already-cancerous cells in the breast (Lanfranchi, 2007).
Why doesn't the American public know about the increased risk? Why is the teenage girl on the pill for acne unaware of the health risks involved? Women deserve better.
You would think that this information, combined with the measurable levels of synthetic hormones in our drinking water supplies, would cause people of all ideological perspectives to take notice and take action. Just another indication that good science has taken a back seat to Mammon. Planned Parenthood, as the main merchant of all things contraceptive and counter-life in American, stands squarely behind this (additional - just add it to the growing list) injustice being done upon unknowing and misinformed women. In the name of what? It can't just be about having as much sex as you want whenever you want it. There is a deeper reason, and I believe it has to do with a spiritual assault upon "the least of these" the smallest of God's precious creation. That's what I believe anyway. I challenge the incredulous to go ahead and prove me wrong. Talk is cheap - show me something that says destruction isn't behind everything that PPC does.Posted by: Amy at August 31, 2009 5:05 PM
The WHO is fairly whacked, due to being filled with leftists. But there is some basis for association of the hormones to cancer, and more basis for the association with DVT and a host of other untoward physical effects.
Regulations compel hospital pharmacies to bag up the unit doses of female hormones with labels safe handling precautions. It's amazing to be dispensing drugs, which are NOT for the purpose of treating an illness, and which need safe handling precautions. And women tolerate this, I guess because they're used to the second class social status.Posted by: p at August 31, 2009 5:05 PM
..and best wishes to Ann Marie.
Good to know of another pro lifer going into nursing.
Promoting more safe and ethical options than the pill for women is good health care.
What I find fascinating is that the Susan G. Komen Foundation is still supporting Planned Parenthood. Isn't that counter-intuitive? Isn't it kind-of like PETA donating money to Michael Vick?Posted by: MaryRose at August 31, 2009 5:20 PM
It has always been interesting to me that more than just a few years ago women who were taking HRT were yanked off of it due to increase of strokes, heart attacks, breast cancers and DVT. These increased risks were discovered through the big HRT study that proved these risks were very real. The study was cut short. The evidence of these increased risks were so clear they took women off the study for their own safety.
My question has always been........if women using the pill for HRT were told to discontinue it's use due to the increase in all of these conditions, why oh why do they keep handing it out like candy to girls as young as 12? After women quit taking HRT the rate of breast cancer dropped 7%.
I have never read a published article on the HRT study that even mentioned that young women should be concerned over the increased risk of breast cancer as well.Posted by: Sandy at August 31, 2009 5:57 PM
MaryRose: it'd be more like PETA donating $ to the Pork Producers or America or maybe the Beef Producers.
Posted by: LizFromNebraska
at August 31, 2009 7:02 PM
BC pills are like poison.
Actually, yeah, it would...
Such a sham.Posted by: MaryRose at August 31, 2009 8:51 PM
A top-notch surgeon, at a major medical center who specializes only in breast cancer treatment that I talked to, did not want ANY of his breast cancer patients on any HRT, BCPs (not even low dose) and not even on treatments for hot flashes like Estroven (from plant derivatives) that are sold over the counter. I would say that confirms that there is a very strong correlation with breast cancer and BCPs. And we pro-lifers get accused of "not caring about women", when pro-aborts like PP keep pushing so-called "reproductive health" that involves pumping hormones into women's bodies with pills, shots, patches, rings, etc. it doesn't matter just keep the money coming, keep living a promiscuous lifestyle and when those don't work, don't worry just bring us $300-500 a pop and well make sure you get a dead baby. Talk about cashing in. What did Carol Everett the former abortion clinic owner say? Something like "we sold abortions, once we got young women coming to us for contraception, we knew it would fail, so we could count on them coming back for 4-5 abortions each".Posted by: Prolifer L at August 31, 2009 10:31 PM
Even after the WHO declared oral contraceptives a Class I carcinogen, it took our own National Institutes of Health another 2 years to recognize the same. Where were the headlines?
And the lies continue. An August 11, 2009 article in the Chicago Tribune states, "Few long-term health problems are associated with the pill, but some estrogen pills can exacerbate chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure." I guess breast cancer doesn't qualify as a long-term health problem.
The IARC puts BCP in the same catergory as (group 1):
in addition to a whole list of others agents.
Why don't we know about this? With the health and green movement, it is just crazy that this information is not discussed.Posted by: Lovethemboth at September 1, 2009 8:07 AM
My mom was on the pill back in the 60's...she got breast cancer in her early 40's. I was on the pill and conceived my son. Thankfully blood work reavealed I was pregnant at 13 days so I stopped taking the pill and my son seems to be okay.
I went back on the pill shortly after I stopped breastfeeding my son. My doctor insisted that the pill does not cause abortions. I felt uneasy and did some of my own research. I found out the pill CAN CAUSE AN ABORTION and I found out just how unhealthy the pill is for me. I flat out told my husband I would not take the pill! He was not happy at first but I used the whole pro-abort mantra "Its MY BODY!" and he accepted it. I told him if he chose to put synthetic hormones into HIS body that was his choice but I was NOT going to do it to my body. We found alternative ways to control our fertility. Ways that respect life and our bodies.
I have told many of my friends about the pill. They are always shocked and incredulous. Why don't women know what we are putting into our own bodies? We are too blind and trusting!Posted by: Sydney M at September 1, 2009 8:45 AM
Thank God I'e stopped putting that crap in my body, I have a LOT of female issues that I think would have never happened had I not got in BCP's without my mom knowing. I used to take two a day as a teen thinking it would help me 'more' as far as not getting prego.
And btw, I used to get my pills from PP for free if I filled out this state form for family planning insurance through WA state. PP never educated me on the pills except to come in if I miss a period.
A great book regarding this issue is: Breast Cancer: Its Link to Abortion and the Birth Control Pill by Chris Kahlenborn, MD, published by One More Soul.
This book really explains the available data and discusses in detail the reasons why the couple of studies that supposedly prove why the claim is false were not comparing apples to apples.
Of note about this information. The hinge of the entire breast cancer story appears to be what a women does(abortion, birth control) before her first full term pregnancy. The horror of this is that so many women/teenagers take birth control pills for years before they have a child. What are they doing to their bodies!?!
Susan G. Koman uses the National Cancer Institute's stance that there is no connection between abortion, the pill, and breast cancer. They seem to be setting themselves up for future customers in kind of a sick way.
We need to teach our daughters and our sons how poison these birth control pills are. Our culture is certainly not going to do it for us. Responsible freedom is the way to go.Posted by: Jill Kerekes at September 1, 2009 2:26 PM
Low estrogen BCPs(yaz) really helped with my endometriosis. Any medication has side effects, but most of this cancer stuff is associated with higher hormone pills. If you want to look at some scary meds look at SSRI's. I once took Lexapro for anxiety, and within 48 hours I felt like I wamnted to kill myself. Now I just stick with Xanax.Posted by: Allie at September 1, 2009 2:28 PM
I turned to this. (After the Pill and fertility treatments and miscarriage)Posted by: carla at September 1, 2009 3:19 PM
Okay you know that I am the back-to-nature freak. The FDA/USDA/EPA had listed estrogen as a suspected carcinogen for years and moved it up to the known carcinogen list even before that big Women's Health Study that had to be stopped because such a disproportionally high number of women in the HRT group died, had heart attacks/strokes, and died.
Typically studies that use human beings have to follow strict guidelines. Once it becomes clear that the drug you are testing on people is killing or injuring them, you have to end the study and notify the participants. In the Women's Health Study, estrogen was causing so many "adverse events" that they would have been sued if they had continued.
The New England Journal of Medicine noted that after the study was cancelled, many women chose to quit taking estrogen and the number of prescriptions fell. Two years later there was a dip in the breast cancer rate and now years later, the new lower rate in sustained. The NEJM published a cool graph clearly showing the two year delay between the drop in prescriptions and the drop in new cancer cases.Posted by: hippie at September 1, 2009 4:45 PM
On the other hand, the same report says that progesterone-only contraception not only shows no increased risk for breast, cervical, liver, or ovarian cancers, but a reduced risk for endometrial cancer. Yay science!Posted by: Penny Dreadful at September 1, 2009 8:59 PM
PP never educated me on the pills except to come in if I miss a period.
Posted by: Ak Krystal at September 1, 2009 9:30 AM
They were pretty clear with me. "Start on this day, go this direction, here's some Plan B 'just in case'... take it as directed. And if you miss a period, call us." That's what passed for 'women's reproductive healthcare' at PP. Well, that, and they tried to tell me a UTI was an STD. Blech.
Thank the Lord for opening my eyes! Also, for blessing me with an understanding husband!Posted by: MaryRose at September 1, 2009 11:14 PM
Not only is it a carcinogen that can cause breast cancer, but is also causing problems in other areas in our ecological system. An interesting study in Canada found a link to mutated fish. http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/sep/08091814.html
I also work in the health care industry, and if I mention to coworkers that birth contol pills can cause cancer, all I get is a look like deer in the head lights stare. Huh!? That's the response! Jill, thanks for the post and God Bless.
"My people parish for lack of knowledge, says the Lord!"
I have no choice but to be on hrt and for the first time in my life I feel normal. Before you judge and go off on medication and treatment, walk a moment in someone's shoes who has no choice. I had 7 surgeries for endometriosis and was in pain for 19 years. I tried every treatment known to man and had to have a complete hysterectomy at the age of 28. HRT is keeping me sane. Walk in my shoes and tell me it is wrong. All medications have side effects. Migraine medication can cause heart attacks. That doesn't mean that people who have paralizing migraines shouldn't take medication that will help them live a normal life. It just means watch and monitor and be aware.Posted by: Molly at September 5, 2009 8:03 PM
Molly if you are being helped by HRT and had such severe endometriosis that nothing else worked and you know all the potential risks and are willing to take that potential risk then I don't think you are wrong. What I was saying is that women and even girls have been fooled into thinking that hormonal BCPs, rings, patches, pills, shots and even HRT are without problems and risks. Even 12 and 13 year old girls at PP, school-based clinics in the inner city and at Dr.'s offices are being told they are going to be fine putting this stuff into their bodies. Like I said a major breast cancer specialist told me he doesn't want ANY of his patients on this stuff and I could pretty much guarantee he wouldn't discourage hormones if he didn't think they were very risky to his patients. Do all women have the same risks or have the horrible side effects of course not, every woman needs to know and decide if it is worth the risks to HER to take this stuff. Like you said "all medications have side effects", so each person has to make their own decision. I pray only the best for you.Posted by: Prolifer L at September 6, 2009 5:38 PM