For many years, I have been counselling my patients not to use birth control pills as a form of contraception. My reasoning was that there were too many adverse effects with oral contraceptives and there were safe and effective alternatives that were not associated with serious adverse effects.
In the December 7, 2017 edition of the New York Times (NYT), a headline read, “Many Modern Contraceptives Still Linked to Breast Cancer, Study Finds.” The article summarized a New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) paper which was released that same day. The study followed 1.8 million Danish women for more than a decade. In the NEJM article, the scientists found a 20% increase risk in breast cancer in the women who were current or recent users of hormonal contraception when they were compared to women who had never used hormonal contraception. The risk linearly increased from 9% with less than one year of hormonal contraceptive use to 38% with more than ten years of use.
The study did not find any modern contraceptives that use hormonal therapy as risk free—they all significantly increased the risk for breast cancer.
None of this should be ground-breaking news. It has been known for decades that synthetic hormones commonly used in contraception increase the risk for breast cancer. I have written about it many times in my newsletter—Dr. Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health.
Folks, there is simply no reason to use synthetic hormones for contraception including birth control pills or IUDs with hormones. The synthetic hormones used in these items are not healthy for the body and will increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer. This has been shown in multiple studies dating back over 30 years.
What is a safer form of contraception? The diaphragm is one example of a safer choice. There was one mention of a diaphragm as a safer choice in the NYT article. Unfortunately, many gynecologists talk their patients out of using a diaphragm because it is easier to prescribe a birth control pill and more lucrative to put in an IUD. I have had multiple patients tell me their gynecologist refused to fit them for a diaphragm because “they don’t do that anymore.”
What was interesting to me in the NYT and the NEJM articles was that both articles made a point of stating the relative and absolute risk numbers with hormonal contraceptives. In fact, the NYT article described the increased risk as “…small but significant.” A 20 percent increase in relative risk may be small in absolute terms…”
I have been writing and lecturing about how the Big Pharma Cartel manipulates statistics by using relative risk instead of absolute risk numbers. Relative risk is a statistical term commonly used to make a poorly performing drug or therapy look much better than it actually is. Absolute risk statistics are much more reliable and can accurately guide a physician on whether a particular therapy is worth using or avoiding.
When a drug is shown to have a positive result, there is usually no mention of absolute risk numbers in a medical publication or a main stream press article. In both the NYT and the NEJM articles, the authors make a point of mentioning relative and absolute risk numbers.
Why would these authors do that—why would they report both absolute and relative risk numbers?
I think this was a clear example of trying to make people feel better about a study that found a negative result. The absolute risk numbers are low with hormonal contraceptives—as I described above. However, with one in seven U.S. women suffering with breast cancer, any increase risk is too much, especially when there are other therapies that do not increase the risk.
Statin studies are perfect examples of exaggerating a benefit by solely using relative risk numbers without reporting absolute risk differences. Statins are, at best, one percent effective at reducing one’s risk for a non-fatal heart attack. In other words, they fail nearly 99% who take them. Those are the absolute risk numbers for statin drugs. I have written about this statistical deception extensively in my book, The Statin Disaster.
The take-away message here is that synthetic hormonal forms of contraception should never be used. We have too many women diagnosed and suffering with breast cancer. There are safer forms of contraceptives that do not use synthetic hormones. If gynecologists were doing their jobs and actually reading the literature, this article would not be headline news.