Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Studies Yield Conflicting Information On Connection Between Birth Control Pills and Breast Cancer
Slate: The Pill-Breast Cancer Connection, by Florence Williams:
Last summer, in a study of more than 50,000 African-American women, Boston University epidemiologist Lynn Rosenberg found a 65 percent increase in a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer among those who had ever taken the birth-control pill. The risk doubles for those who had used the contraceptive within the past five years and had taken it for longer than 10 years.
This unwelcome news doesn't fit well into the wave of coverage of the pill's 50th anniversary. A Newsweek columnist gushed that the pill "did more good for more people than any other invention of the 20th century." In a cover story, Time magazine extolled the pill as "the means by which women untied their aprons, scooped up their ambitions and marched eagerly into the new age." (True. Thanks, pill!) A commemorative MSN.com piece flatly asserted earlier this year that "taking the pill has no impact on breast cancer risk."
Rosenberg's findings question that assertion. . . .