Be Cautious – Hormonal Birth Control May Increase Cancer Risk

It may be time to rethink your birth control choice. A major study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine linked hormonal birth control use to a significant increase in the risk of breast cancer.

The study followed 1.8 million Danish women for over 10 years, ages 15 to 49. Over the course of the study, 11,517 cases of breast cancer occurred. Those taking hormonal contraceptives displayed a 20 percent increase in relative risk of breast cancer compared to nonusers. The longer a woman had been taking hormonal contraceptives, the more at risk for breast cancer she was. For every 100,000 women, there were an additional 13 cases of breast cancer among those taking hormonal contraceptive compared with those abstaining. Although these increases may seem small, they are very clear and defined. Hormonal birth control increases breast cancer risk.

And this doesn’t just cover the Pill. Hormonal contraceptives include any form of birth control that uses synthetic hormones, whether it is the Pill, the hormonal IUD, patches, rings or injections. According to this groundbreaking study, prolonged use of any of these contraceptives could increase your personal risk of breast cancer by up to 20 percent.

According to the CDC, 62 percent of women use some form of contraceptive across the United States. Unsurprisingly, between 50 and 60 percent of women currently using contraceptives rely on a hormonal method. Do the math. That’s a lot of women utilizing hormonal birth control.

The real issue is that doctors have been prescribing hormonal contraceptives like the Pill as a sort of panacea for all sorts of female disorders, from acne to hormonal imbalance to menstrual irregularity. But many doctors don’t address the potential dark sides of hormonal contraceptives—the mood swings, the weight gain, the breast tenderness, the cravings, the loss of libido, the hormonal chaos. For some women, including myself, hormonal contraceptives have the ability to take away all that is wonderful and unique about being female. Although more research is always needed, an increased breast cancer risk is one side effect most women simply won’t tolerate.

When hormonal contraceptives were originally introduced, hormone levels were dosed in much higher concentrations than they are today. Such high doses are shown to increase the risk of breast cancer, among other worrisome side effects, so hormone levels were drastically reduced while still maintaining the Pill’s effectiveness. However, it seems that even with our modern, mild doses of hormones, an increased incidence of breast cancer is still at play. It’s just unfortunate that it took over 50 years to figure it out. Talk to your doctor about other contraceptive options if you want to avoid synthetic hormones and always do your research. Trust your instincts; only you know what works best for your body.

Related on Care2:


Chrissie R
Chrissie R18 days ago

Thank you for posting.

Mike R
Mike R19 days ago


C Holmes
C Holmes19 days ago

Failed to locate Resources list on this page; where/when was this research done? Was this from OLD studies, or new? Where can readers go to examine the studies themselves, to learn if those were done properly, or that the data was reported accurately?
BECAUSE this kind of information, is OLD news: was not long after birth control pills hit the market in the 1960's in USA, this same kind of data was reported. In response, the Pharma industry decreased doses, rather than interfere with their patents on poorly designed chemical compounds.
This kind of warning has come up repeatedly, since then.
Yet, it doesn't appear anyone is doing much about it.
ALL hormones from Pharmaceutical companies, including pills, patches, sub-dermal implants, rings, injections, etc., should come with much stronger warnings! Those are almost all made using manmade or man-tweaked hormones. [ALL hormone meds, even ones made from "mare's urine", or even from certain type of yams, are ultimately man-made, because the molecules have been tweaked in a lab to allow Pharma to patent them.].
Trying to simplify:
Those patented, manipulated hormone molecules don't "plug into" the receptor sites completely or properly; that allows them to trigger some effects of the hormones, but those bits that don't plug-in properly, can cause damaging effects from badly tweaked molecules to accumulate.
Soy, OTH, has Phytoe

Winn A
Winn A20 days ago


Danuta W
Danuta Watola20 days ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Sherry K
Sherry Kohn20 days ago


Ruth Rakotomanga
Ruth Rakotomanga20 days ago

Couldn't take the pill so used an IUD for 19 years; non-hormonal is better because there's a very fine balance that needs to be maintained for a woman to feel well e.g. look at the link between the pill and depression.

Ellie M
Ellie M20 days ago


Janet B
Janet B20 days ago


Andrea B
Andrea B20 days ago

An acidic body is highly dangerous and up for cancer cell growth, not hormons