Hormonal Contraception and Breast Cancer

Hormonal Contraceptives may Increase a Woman’s Risk of Breast Cancer

By Ramadhani Chambuso

The risk of breast cancer was elevated among women who used hormonal contraceptives than among women who had never used them before, a study suggests, published in December, 2017 on the top journal in human Medicine, New England Journal of Medicine.

The study was done in Denmark, followed up 1.8 million women for 10.9 years who used hormonal birth control methods and only 11,517 cases of breast cancer occurred. Furthermore, when compared with women who have never used any hormonal control pills, the risk of breast cancer increased up to 38% depending on duration of use from less than 1 year to more than 10 years in all forms of hormonal contraception methods such as the pills, injections or hormone releasing-Intra Uterine Devices (IUDs).

However, the overall absolute increased risk in breast cancers diagnosed among current and recent users of any hormonal contraceptive was 13%, approximately 1 extra breast cancer for every 7690 women using hormonal contraception for 1 year.

Although these findings sound scary, on the other hand, the risk is somehow similar to the breast cancer risk contributed by physical inactivity, excessive weight gain, or alcohol consumption. However, all these extra contributing factors for breast cancer risk were not excluded in this study.

In contrary, oral contraceptives use, prevents more cancers than it causes. For example, it is known to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and there is a strong suggestion that they may also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

In my opinion, this should be weighed against the clear benefits of hormonal contraception use that go beyond the obvious advantages of preventing unwanted pregnancies. In addition, the search for new hormonal contraceptives that do not elevate breast cancer risk or use of copper IUDs should be alternatively emphasized.

Source:  Mørch et al. (2017).

32nd International Papillomavirus Conference: Call for Abstracts

WELCOME TO IPVC 2018 
IN CONJUNCTION WITH AOGIN 2018
Join us for the 32nd International Papillomavirus Conference, to be held October 2-6 in Sydney, Australia. Australia has been at the forefront of HPV research from key innovations in immunology and vaccine development through to the implementation of large scale vaccination initiatives and an upcoming imminent transition to HPV-based cervical screening. We are also very pleased to be co-hosting the meeting with AOGIN, and plan a strong regional focus on HPV control in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Our conference theme is ‘Towards Global Control of HPV Disease’ and through workshops, invited lectures, and oral and poster sessions presenting the latest research results, the conference will cover papillomavirus (PV)-related topics from basic science to global health impact. We will be paying special attention to HPV control in populations that are most vulnerable to HPV disease worldwide, including those in Low and Middle Income Countries and Indigenous communities.

Read the welcome letter here.

Relive our outstanding 2017 Conference in Cape Town, South Africa with our photo gallery!

Discover Australia’s most beautiful city from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the sparkling blue harbour, exhilarating entertainment, delicious restaurants and historic heritage.

> See all pictures > Learn more
SHARE YOUR RESEARCH

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION IS NOW OPEN
Submit your latest work for the chance to present your research during the upcoming
IPVC 2018 conference.

NEW! The number of abstract topics has nearly doubled this year.
Choose from 5 main categories:

  • Basic research
  • Clinical research
  • Public health / epidemiology
  • High resource settings
  • Low and middle income (LMIC) settings

> View the full list here

Submit your abstract

Research Journey

My Cancer Research Journey as a Story

By Ramadhani Chambuso

In clinical medicine, researchers believe that HIV/HPV co-infected women progress relatively rapidly to invasive cervical cancer.

But then, I thought that may be too general because others do not progress to the invasive disease regardless of their CD4 T cell counts or Anti-Retroviral drug use.

Therefore, what I did, was to find out if host immunity and molecular genetic variations with HIV/HPV co-infection may influence early cervical cancer development. Interestingly, I have discovered that specific immune genes in combination with HIV/HPV co-infection may influence cervical cancer development in South African Women.

Conclusively, these results enlighten our insight to the disease development, add new knowledge to the existing theories in Clinical Oncology and may change the screening and management of the disease to focus or target more on individualized molecular genetic variations for cervical carcinogenesis.