The Relationship between Oral Contraceptives and Brain Cancer

oral contraceptionWhen a woman reads something about oral contraception and the big ‘C’, she gets alarmed and maybe even frightened. Truth is, when it comes to these two things the news is fairly relieving. First of all, proper intake of the pill can protect you from the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer. However, recent researches show that it can increase your risk of developing breast cancer whilst other studies say it’s a hoax. Now, you are confused and you start to ask which is really which?

To further your anxiety, recent news has been showing that birth control pills are linked to brain cancer. This leaves you, and plenty other women, panicky! The British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology has conducted a study on the incidence of brain cancer called glioma among a group of young women in Denmark. They were eager to find out if the hormones in the pill had a direct effect on glioma and they poured through all the resources that they can find. They looked into the cases of all Danish women from ages 15 to 49 who were diagnosed with glioma and checked if they were taking birth control pills.

They made a record of which type of birth control pills the women were taking and for how long they were taking it. They also compared them to a group of women of the same age range who do not have glioma. The final results show that women who took the pill have 50 percent higher risk of incurring glioma as compared to those who do not. Moreover, the risk is even higher for those who are taking progestin-only pills for a minimum period of 5 years.

Progestin-only Pills Cause Glioma

The people who conducted the research do not guarantee that the progestin-only kind is the responsible factor in the link. To be clear, the study only showed correlation and not causation. What’s clear is that the risk is higher in women who are pill takers. Glioma is a very rare health condition, there are about 5 women who develop it out of a 100,000. In a nut shell, the study does not suggest that you get rid of your pill pack just because of its results. There is no direct relation between the pill’s hormones and glioma risk. Generally, the benefits of hormonal contraception still outweigh its risks. Consult your doctor for more information.

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