Birth Control and Fertility Drugs and Breast Cancer
This is one of those entries that will either have a great deal of interest to you or none at all. There are lots of ongoing questions and concerns about the possible impact of birth control pills and fertility drugs/treatments on breast cancer risk. I have worked with a number of women who had IVF and then breast cancer. Was there a connection? None has been proven, but they surely have wondered and worried.
Since it is younger women who are using either of these drugs and since the overall breast cancer risk increases with age, the numbers remain small. We know that birth control pills have changed a lot since the 70s, and we know that they actually have been proven to reduce the risk of ovarian and colon cancers. There is nothing so definitive about breast cancer. This is quite a good summary from the Komen Foundation. I give you the beginning and then a link:
Some Questions, Some Answers: Birth Control Pills, Fertility Drugs and Breast Cancer Risk
It’s well established that hormones play a key role in breast cancer risk. So, it’s not surprising that factors
related to fertility and pregnancy have been actively studied to better understand their relationship with breast
cancer. These include, age at menopause, age at first period, childbearing (number of children and age at first
childbirth) and use of menopausal hormone therapy (postmenopausal hormones).
The potential link between birth control pills and breast cancer has also been well studied. And, studies have
looked at a possible link between the use of fertility drugs and breast cancer. At this time, results from these
studies point to some solid conclusions, with some results still up in the air. These findings and other issues
related to birth control pills and fertility drugs are discussed below.