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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Cancer Risk Posed by Birth Control Pills

Oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, along with many other formulations of hormones for women, are carcinogens. Many official health-related organizations acknowledge this, including the World Health Organization, which ranks it as in their “Group 1 Carcinogenic to humans (107 agents).” This is the group of agents known to be carcinogenic in human beings, including such things as arsenic, asbestos and tobacco smoke.

            A U.S. government site ( states: “In 2017, a large prospective Danish study reported breast cancer risks associated with more recent formulations of oral contraceptives. Overall, women who were using or had recently stopped using oral combined hormone contraceptives had a modest (about 20 percent) increase in the relative risk of breast cancer compared with women who had never used oral contraceptives. The risk increase varied from zero to 60 percent, depending on the specific type of oral combined hormone contraceptive. The risk of breast cancer also increased the longer oral contraceptives were used.”

            These facts are well-established, but not well known. Most women and girls that start BCP are not told this and are completely unaware that they are exposing themselves for years on end to drugs that are known to cause breast cancer. A significant number of the one-out-of-eight women that have been or will be afflicted with breast cancer would not have gotten it if they had not used BCP. We will never know which ones.

            Women, and especially girls and their mothers, should know the risks before they make the choice to use BCP. They should not make the choice casually in ignorance of the facts, particularly in this time when there is a formal recommendation that women and girls be started on BCP without even a physical examination.


Ellen H. Gryniewicz, M.D., is a retired family practice physician in Ypsilanti.