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Birth Control Pills and IUDs Increase Breast Cancer Risk

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.

DrB

Author Info

David Brownstein, M.D.

Comments ( 11 )

  • Jean

    I have long used the information in Taking Charge of Your Fertility to use NFP, much to the constant complaint of my (then) OB/Gyn. Then Ovuview, an app that you can try and use for free, or upgrade inexpensively for full service, came out and made charting so easy.

    You can choose how much info you want to track to improve its fertility predictions, whether you want to increase your odds of conceiving, or limit them.

    You can track daily temp (the moment you wake up before you sit up), cervical height / fluids, your menstruation cycles. Everything is easily kept for handy reference when you see your doctor, too. The app will remind when it’s time to perform self breast exams, and more. I have used it for years, started my daughters on it for good habits and personal health, and recommended to many.

    For those who use BCP for non-birth control reasons, there are compounding pharmacies and less harmful means to the same benefits. If your doctor isn’t up to date on these options, do your own homework while you seek a doctor who is.

    When it comes to your health, you are your own best advocate. I am so thankful for doctors like Dr. Brownstein, and others, who work so diligently to speak the truth, with sincere compassion.

  • Anne

    What about HRT for menopause?

    • David Brownstein

      Anne,
      I use bioidentical hormones for hormone replacement therapy. The synthetic hormones commonly used increase the risk for breast cancer and other health issues.
      DrB

  • Emily

    My mother was on the pill from the 50’s to 1996. She had wanted to go off the pill but her gynocologist said that lie that it reduced her chances of getting cancer. She was a person who got mammograms on schedule and did all the idiot stuff the doctors recommend based on manipulated statistics. She was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer in December 1995 at Cedars Sinai hospital. She had malignant calcifications. Cancer was estrogen positive. They did not remove enough nodes. She then went to City of Hope where she became a guinea pig based on experimental study statistics that turned out to be very wrong. Her oncologist came down with colon cancer and after going through treatment, he couldn’t stomach what he did to patients and then went to the NIH to avoid working with patients. I was her caregiver for 12 years and went to virtually every appointment with her from the age of 22 and finally helping her pass in hospice when I was 33. Initially she did a stem cell transplant and spent a month at City of Hope which we named City of Hell. For the last 7 of those 12 years she could not breath. They put her on predinsone where she lost her immunity, got PCP pnuemona and was on a ventilator, almost died and looking back for her sake wish she had passed, the last year and a half I would not have wished on anyone. They made fun of her at City of Hope and treated her like a burden. Her gynocologist of 20 years kick her out of his practice. There were times she tried to transfer to another doctor at another hospital and she wasn’t accepted due to her terminal status. She just wanted to live. It was horrific. It changed her life, my life and affected everyone around us. It is devastating. And inhumane. God bless you Dr Brownstein. You speak the truth and to bless people with the ability to maintain their good health is the mark of a true physician and rare in this day and age.

  • Todd

    To my knowledge, along with the fact Danish women have high numbers comparatively to others with breast cancer and that “the pill” robs certain nutrients, like zinc, selenium, etc. (Drug Muggers by Suzy Cohen) and that they play a crucial role with iodine, it seems reasonable. Its also is no surprise that Denmark is long noted for being largely depleted of selenium which as Joel Wallach stated in his 7 lawsuits (he won) to the FDA, that selenium cures certain cancers…breast cancer being one of them. Denmark has another interesting history of breast cancer including a few other surrounding countries. The intake of cured mutton greatly increases the risk of breast cancer among other cancers. Whats in mutton that causes this? Fungal mycotoxins much like the mycotoxins in corn, wheat, soy, rye, alcohol, sugar, antibiotics, etc. that cause cancers of every kind known. Oh….and what kills cancer cells and fungus? Selenium and Iodine to name a couple. What helps eliminate the mycotoxins (remember, you can’t burn them out of food) dead fungi leave behind that start the deadly cycle all over again….zinc, to name one. Like the yeast infections so common with “the pill”, there are some 300+ pathogenic fungi and their mycotoxins out there and we only test for one in our food supply. If ever in doubt, please read the amazing work by WHO mycology head great, AV Costantini in his Fungalbionic book series. Breast Cancer-Hope at Last in this case. Blessings, Todd

  • Shasha

    IUD may have Cu which may raise estrogen and may scar tissue. Progestin in The Pill blocks progesterone that helps the immune system. A premenopause when progesterone is going lower they may get cancer. The Pill makes them estrogen dominant since they are not balanced with real progesterone. Meat/dairy/soy/BPA/fat/The Pill/chemicals may make people estrogen dominant which can block thyroid/lower oxygen burning. Gluten may hurt intestines so less nutrients absorb…then cells are not made right to work right. Gluten may make antibodies to the thyroid/hurt other glands. Those who went gluten free and changed their diet so they were not estrogen dominant from food and got hormone balanced may be ok. Progesterone helps the immune system/blood sugar/blood pressure/bones/myelin and much more. Women may think free sex, but that doesn’t stop STD and if they skip 2 birth control pills or take antibiotics the Birth control pills may not work. Some may have sex right away not letting the pills work for 30 days. Messing with hormones with The Pill may cause cancer/endometriosis etc, Many may get the uterus taken out and leave ovaries in, but they may shiveral up and not work. They may get no hormones or HRT which may cause clots/strokes being horse urine and not identical to human hormones and are estrogen dominant. John Lee book on Progesterone is very good. He talks about them getting cancer and the industry knows it and is ok since cancer is a big money maker. Chemo/radiation don’t fix the hormone balance and hurt the mitochondria/gut lining and lower the immune system. Only 3% may survive it. They need to fix the root cause. Natural help only helps and doesn’t hurt.

  • Julie

    What about IUD’s that do not release any hormones?

    • David Brownstein

      Julie,
      IUDs without hormones do not increase the breast cancer risk. It is the synthetic hormones that are the problem.
      DrB

  • Joel Chudnow

    Invite neuro-endocrinologists to teach us about endocrine glands, how hey function and what they need in a healthy body.
    Show us data on human physiology. If cancer grows, it’s from a weak immune system. How do synthetic hormones weaken the immune system setting up an environment for cancer?

  • Nancy Couch Nowak

    IUDs & breast cancer?

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