Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Injectable contraceptives linked to breast cancer risk in younger women

Date:
April 4, 2012
Source:
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Summary:
The first large-scale U.S.-based study to evaluate the link between an injectable form of progestin-only birth control and breast cancer risk in young women has found that recent use of a year or more doubles the risk.

The first large-scale U.S.-based study to evaluate the link between an injectable form of progestin-only birth control and breast cancer risk in young women has found that recent use of a year or more doubles the risk. The results of the study, led by breast cancer epidemiologist Christopher I. Li, M.D., Ph.D., of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, are published online ahead of the April 15 print issue of Cancer Research.

Related Articles


While the contraceptive, called depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA, contains the same kind of progestin as the menopausal hormone-therapy regimen found by a Women's Health Initiative clinical trial to increase breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women, few studies have evaluated the link between DMPA use and breast cancer risk in younger women.

"While DMPA is widely used by women throughout the world, there are limited data on the association between DMPA and breast cancer incidence," said Li, a member of the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division. "Our study adds to the body of knowledge from international studies conducted in a diverse group of countries -- Kenya, New Zealand, Thailand, Mexico and Costa Rica -- which have shown that one of the risks associated with DMPA use may be an increased risk of breast cancer," he said.

Li and his Hutchinson Center colleagues found that recent DMPA use (within five years) for 12 months or longer was associated with a 2.2-fold increased risk of invasive breast cancer. This risk appeared to dissipate within months after contraceptive use was discontinued. The researchers also found that women who used the contraceptive for less than a year or who had stopped using it more than a year earlier did not have an increased risk of breast cancer.

"Although breast cancer is rare among young women and the elevated risk of breast cancer associated with DMPA appears to dissipate after discontinuation of use, our findings emphasize the importance of identifying the potential risks associated with specific forms of contraceptives given the number of available alternatives," the authors wrote.

The study involved 1,028 Seattle-area women ages 20 to 44 who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and, for comparison purposes, 919 age-matched controls who did not have a history of breast cancer. Of these, about 10 percent reported using DMPA, which is consistent with usage patterns nationwide, Li said. Use of the injectable contraceptive was about 5 percent higher among non-white women in the study.

"In the United States many women have numerous options for contraception, and so it is important to balance their risks and benefits when making contraceptive choices," Li said. The National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program funded the research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. I. Li, E. F. Beaber, M.-T. C. Tang, P. L. Porter, J. R. Daling, K. E. Malone. Effect of depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate on breast cancer risk among women 20-44 years of age. Cancer Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-4064

Cite This Page:

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Injectable contraceptives linked to breast cancer risk in younger women." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120404144120.htm>.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (2012, April 4). Injectable contraceptives linked to breast cancer risk in younger women. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120404144120.htm
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. "Injectable contraceptives linked to breast cancer risk in younger women." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120404144120.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins