Birth Control Pills may increase Chance of Breast Cancer

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More than 10 million American women use birth control pills. They are the go-to contraceptive not only for pregnancy prevention, but also for PMS symptoms, heavy periods, and acne. Previous studies have suggested that birth control pills increase breast cancer risk, and the most recent research strengthens this relationship.

Birth Control Pills: A Known Carcinogen

Birth control pills join tobacco, asbestos, plutonium, and diesel exhaust as a group 1 carcinogen according to the World Health Organization. This means birth control pills are “a known and probable cancer-causing agent to humans.”

The latest study published in the August 2014 edition of the journal Cancer Research confirms the finding of past birth control/cancer studies. Researchers studied 1,102 women with breast cancer, along with 21,952 controls, and found that recent oral contraceptive use—particularly high-dose estrogen birth control pills—increased breast cancer risk by more than 50%. Birth control pills with ethynodiol diacetate (a type of progestin) also raised breast cancer risk by more than double, while triphasic birth control pills (pills that deliver different hormone doses over three stages of the monthly cycle) more than tripled breast cancer risk! Not all birth control pills fared so badly, however. Low-dose estrogen birth control pills did not seem to increase breast cancer risk.

An open pack of birthcontrol pills on a white background with shallow depth of field

Birth control pills block pregnancy by delivering a mix of estrogen and progestin hormones to your body. But these same hormones also over-stimulate breast cancer cells, which increases breast cancer risk. Dr. Angela Lanfranchi writes in her booklet on Breast Cancer Risks and Prevention:

“Estrogen can cause cancers in two ways. First, estrogen acts as a “mitogen.” Estrogen stimulates your breast tissue to increase cell divisions (mitoses). This sometimes results in cancers due to errors in cell division (mutations). Second, certain metabolites of estrogen also act as carcinogen or genotoxins, by directly damaging DNA, thereby causing cancer cells to form.”

Your risk for breast cancer further increases if you have a strong family history of breast cancer, you or a family member have had a biopsy that showed abnormal cells, or you carry an abnormal breast cancer gene.

If you are currently taking birth control pills, consider a safer method of contraception, such as the use of a diaphragm and/or condom. If you insist on taking birth control pills, then make sure you are on a low-dose estrogen pill.



Citrus Fruits and Tea Can Help Lower Ovarian Cancer

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New research reveals that women who consume foods containing flavonols and flavanones (two forms of dietary flavonoids) cut their risk of developing epithelial ovarian cancer.  This is amazingly good news for women, because ovarian cancer is currently the 5th leading cause of cancer death among women.  About 20,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year.


An Extremely Deadly Cancer 

Ovarian cancer is one of the deadliest of all cancers affecting women.  One of the reasons this type of cancer is so terribly dangerous is that it is nearly impossible to detect early.  Only about 19% of ovarian cancer is diagnosed before the cancer has spread, after which point treatment is usually not effective.

Making matters worse is the fact that the ovaries are tiny organs located deep within the abdominal cavity.  This makes it extremely difficult to pinpoint symptoms specific to the ovaries.  Sadly, such symptoms are all too often mistaken for other far less serious health issues until it is simply too late.

The good news is that there are choices you or your loved ones can make to lower ovarian cancer risk.  Most recently, scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) discovered that tea and citrus fruits and juices can lower ovarian cancer risk.

How Tea and Citrus Prevent Ovarian Cancer 

The UEA study followed the dietary habits of 171,940 women between the ages of 25 and 55 for more than three decades.  The research team found that those who consumed food and drinks high in flavonols were less likely to develop ovarian cancer.

Flavonols are found in…drinking-tea-woman2

  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Apples
  • Grapes

Consumption of flavanones was also associated with lower incidence of ovarian cancer.

Flavanones are found in …

  • Citrus fruits
  • Citrus juices


Two Cups A Day
The consumption of just two cups of black tea every day was associated with a whopping 31% reduction in ovarian cancer risk.  Black tea also slashes your risk of diabetes.  A study of elderly people living in the Mediterranean islands showed that people who consumed 1-2 cups of black tea a day had a 70% lower chance of having or developing Type 2 diabetes.

A Groundbreaking Study 

The UEA study was the first large-scale study to examine how the substances in black tea and citrus fruits and juices affect the risk of ovarian cancer.  The study’s authors concluded that very simple and inexpensive changes in food intake could have a drastic effect on reducing ovarian cancer risk.