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How many of us took Birth Control Pills?

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135

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  • bcamnb
    bcamnb Member Posts: 334
    edited September 2009
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    I was one of the first group of women to take "the pill." I took it - in its highest dosage - from 1966 - 1969, when I was encouraged to take a break (and became pregnant!). I think I took it for a few years between babies. Then I was on HRT for 5 years from age 50 - 55. I have always had fibrous, lumpy breasts and several cysts drained over the years.

    Great we've been such wonderful estrogen guinea pigs, eh?

  • Abbey11
    Abbey11 Member Posts: 7
    edited September 2009
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    I took the pill off and on for about 20 years from 18 to 40ish.  I took time off for two pregnancies and nursing.  I am fit, active, eat well, don't drink, got my first period late, had my first child before age 30, and breast fed both my children for almost two years.  I have no family history and am BRCA neg.  Birth control pills were my only risk factor.  If it's clear that manipulating your endocrine system with HRT post menopause causes breast cancer, it stands to reason that manipulating it pre-meno with the pill can also cause it.  I don't know why BCP are still used so pervasively; especially when there are option like IUD's that contain no estrogen.  I wish I had used one of those.  And, I wish my docs had warned me!  Do you think that the medical community is keeping mum about this because they don't want to be accused of taking away women's reproductive freedom??

  • jancie
    jancie Member Posts: 403
    edited September 2009
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    I took the Ortho Novum pill for 19 years at the highest strength possible.  I didn't stop taking it until I got my tubes tied at age 37.  I didn't get a mammogram for 12 years so I don't know how long my BC was there before I was diagnosed.  I never had children. 

  • thepinkbirdie
    thepinkbirdie Member Posts: 24
    edited September 2009
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    I took birth control pills for several years and got off of them about 3 years ago.  I did read the inserts when I began taking them and I was aware that the pill could possibly cause breast cancer. As I remember, the inserts also stated that smoking while on the pill also greatly increased the risk of breast cancer and a host of other things.  I was never a smoker.

    I asked my oncologist his opinion about the pill and the breast cancer link.  It was his opinion that the pill from the 60's or early 70's had a strong possibility of a link to breast cancer, but not the pill from the last couple of decades.

    Personally, I think just about anything could have caused my breast cancer. 

  • WendyInCalif
    WendyInCalif Member Posts: 8
    edited September 2009
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    I also never took BCPs. 

    If one were able to visit a dairy farm and a cattle ranch, and observe the amount of hormones administered to these livestock to increase growth rate and milk production - and then witness the water run off and manure being used for the fields here in the Central San Joaquin Valley,

     I think one would have to wonder if our foods and water are not laced with huge amounts of estrogen and testosterone.  They will not let camera crews onto them for this reason.  I was a rancher's wife.  This man had 20,000 head.  His main goal was to get them to a certain weight as fast a possible with as little feed as possible so he could sell them for beef.  The females were used for the dairy and they too were pushed to milk production as fast as possible.  I believe this has a major role in our diagnosis as well as the BCP and HRT.

     That they use the water run off and the manure to grow the vegetables would only conclude in my mind that traces of the hormones are in them as well.  It is a big money industry and they are protected via lobbyists and campaign contributions - in modern day America, the only thing that would stop this from occurring would be a nationwide boycott of  their products/byproducts and with exports, i am not sure that would even happen. 

    Very disturbing.

  • Meece
    Meece Member Posts: 10,618
    edited September 2009
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    Speaking of hormones in food.  Is it just me or has anyone else noticed how the young women of today, under 30, seem to have larger breasts that those say 40 years ago?  I mean when I was a teen, the one who were "satcked" had thicker waists, or on the heavy side.  Now girls have big busts at an early age, and many of them retain a proportionate waiste.  Could that be due to hormones in meat and dairy?

  • Sunris
    Sunris Member Posts: 18
    edited September 2009
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    I took the pill for approx.  7 years, then at age 30 had a complete hysterectomy of which afterwards was given the hormone patch which I hated (too sticky!!) so went on the pills ( premarin) which I took for approx. 6 years then took myself off of them.   I remember reading at an early age that BCP could increase risk of BC as well as reading HRT could also.  I was always one of those people that read the fine print....lol.    Did I ever think it actually would cause BC?  Obviously not....and who knows....did it?

    BCP are horrible for many reasons I have learned.  When my daughter was 17 and finally informed me that she felt it best she get on the pill , we did just that....got her on the pill.  Within a year she had continued episodes with yeast?bacteria? infections.  Naturally I pushed monistat on her the first time but it was not relieving her symptoms so naturally I suspected an STD.  Long story short...In approx. an 8 month time frame we saw 4 diff. GP's & 3 diff. OBGYNS's...(with many dx of bacterial inf. which they gave antibiotics).... the last one finally decided to take her off the pill and guess what ???  Those infections went away and have never returned !! ( she is now 23) . Odd, huh??  Who woulda thought!

    Dawn

  • Grakenmom
    Grakenmom Member Posts: 137
    edited October 2009
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    I was on Ortho-Novum and LoOvral for about 12 years. Very fit (marathoner and triathlete), but drank probably more than I should have. Got married & went off the pill, only to find out that I'm infertile - unexplained (oh yeah, that was lots of fun too), went on Clomid for about 5 cycles total with 2 pregnancies/deliveries at 36 and 38. Started drinking soy milk with first pg - thought it was good for the baby with extra protein, etc, well duh, if I'd known that soy "acts" like estrogen, never would have drunk it. Started having cramps and "twitches" in my ribcage when I drank it, so quit the soy milk after first delivery. Never went back on the pill, so have been off since 1998 - 11 years.  Started eating my cheerios with regular skim milk last year to help reduce cholesterol. Switched to organic fat free milk earlier this year when I learned about the hormones, but also dx'd with BC in August 2009.  No family history, slightly overweight, kids late in life, and 5'6". My tumor was a slow-growing and non-agressive form, so it's possible that it started 8 or 9 years ago (would coincide with the soy milk consumption).  With each situation, I thought I was doing the best, healthiest thing possible for myself, my husband, and our kids.  But reading over this, it appears I am the poster child for "How to Get BC by Unknowingly Messing With Your Hormones at Every Opportunity". ...Lucky me.

  • lea321
    lea321 Member Posts: 6
    edited October 2009
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    Wow, I am so glad I am not the only one who thinks birth control pills caused my bc!  I have taken them since I was 18, with a few years off, and was DX at 38.  My doctor would not come right out and say it was the pill that caused it, but she rolled her eyes in such a way to tell me, indirectly, she believes it could be the cause.  I hope there are more studies done on this!

  • rosered
    rosered Member Posts: 4
    edited October 2009
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    I don't know what caused my bc but it was not birth control pills - I never took them!

  • vivo
    vivo Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2009
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    I have made the same post...I used to take the pills for about 20 years! I used to ask docs about the pills and bc but everyone was negative about the connection. I believe there must be a connection. It is estrogen for god's name... I have er+++ bc. There are a lot of vectors for bc creation. One is estrogen overexpression that can be caused from food that has a lot of estrogen . So why not from pills?

  • 013petroleum072magnolia
    013petroleum072magnolia Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2013
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    Good morning, I am a sixteen year survivor of breast cancer. Diagnosis was a total suprise.  No history in my family.  one of 15 first cousins on maternal side, 10 of whom were female.  I am the only one to develop breast cancer. my paternal grandmother had ovarian cancer other than that know nothing of the paternal side of family. I did not want to know the type of cancer I had, I just wanted to know what to do to survive, if possible.  

    As to risk factors, prior to diagnosis, was always really healthy, fit and strong.  I was a runner, swimmer, water skier, triathlete and a tap dancer. I had been tapping with a group for ten years prior to my diagnosis.  I did begin the menses one month before my 11th birthday with breasts, horrible thought as I was the consummate tomboy. Had my first child at 22 and my second at 26, breast fed both children for a year.  due to changes in metabolism from chemo have had a weight problem since.

    during the time I was taking birth control pills, doctors would not leave you on them for extended periods of time, had to get off for a few months to let body readjust. Poor body, was so confused.

    originally my tumor was classified as a stage 2, grade 2 due to size, when the lymph glands were removed (1/17) downgraded to a stage 1, tumor was neither estrogen nor progesterin receptive.

    I took birth control pills from 1962 (year I married) - 1969 (my husband had a vasectomy).  When I was 50, had a hysterectomy and was given HRT.  five years later I had full blown breast cancer.

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 55, only symptom of menopause was the elevated breast size, no hot flashes, mood swings or night sweats, chemo produced continual hot flashes to this day and expect to have them forever.  i  am really comfortable at about 50 degrees.  My poor husband suffers. 

    January 9, 1996, I found 3 cm lump in 4th quadrant in right breast.  Prior to that had not felt the lump, even though lifted my breasts each bath time to clean underneath and lifted to put on bra and to adjust the bra.  Had lumpectomy to remove tumor, did not want a needle biopsy. after diagnosis, modified radical mastectomy last of January, 1996 with TRAM flap reconstruction on right using my stomach fat instead of implant and reduction of left breast to match new right breast. 

    after mastectomy had shingles due to trauma to the body, then began 8 rounds of chemo, day I completed chemo, oncologist decided I needed 28 radiaiton treatments.   Due to that,  the reconstructed right breast has slowly diminished/shrunk to almost nothing.  Now have plans in motion to "refill"/make same size the right breast.  Will have implant in right breast.  This time I cannot use the stomach fat in right breast as it is considered experimental yet we used it in 1996 and it was not considered experimental. Cannot have an implant in left breast so that the breast will match because the doctors do not want to take chance of interrupting blood flow to nipple in left breast. So, I will still be  not the same. But!!! will not have to wear insert any longer in my bra

    to add insult to injury, had a suture granuloma (non-dissolable stitch trying to work through my skin at site of TRAM), little bit of a problem, removed this in the spring, no one sure how this developed, but had depression in my stomach that looked like a funne for about three months before it became red and inflammed,  think may have moved/torn something doing Pilates on the reformer tower, GP thinks it is from where I had a drainage bottle after TRAM flap. 

    No one was concerned as to what it was, said this happened a lot, just did not want it to get infected.  After surgery,  left wound open to keep from forming a depression similar to navel.  did not quite make it, have small depression. During the surgery also found a hematoma.  The wound was about 2 inches x 1.5 inches deep.   My guest bathroom counter looked like preparation for surgery, had to injure the wound 2 x per day to keep it open (that hurt like the crazy) clean it with a type of saline solution, pack it with treated surgical gauze.     If it had become infected, would have had surgery to remove mesh packing over muscle involved in TRAM flap which would have been a really tedious surgery and also would have been needed had the hematoma been larger. And this happened 16 years after breast cancer surgeries and treatment.

    the point to this is --- even though my tumor was neither ER+nor PR+, I am convinced that the hormones I took in form of birth control pills and HRT caused my cancer. The pills were really strong in the early days, had not figured out dosage amounts at that time.

    thanks to all for listening, it is very cathartic to have a sounding board.

    Take care,

  • NatsFan
    NatsFan Member Posts: 1,927
    edited October 2013
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    Never took BC pills.

  • dogsandjogs
    dogsandjogs Member Posts: 677
    edited October 2013
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    Took them from 1965 to 1968. This is when they were the most potent, but nobody knew the risks of such high dosages then.

  • Annette47
    Annette47 Member Posts: 108
    edited October 2013
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    Took them (low dose pill) from age 24-31, was diagnosed at 45. Supposedly, since it had been more than 10 years since I stopped, they shouldn't have been a factor, according to what I've read.

  • GrammyR
    GrammyR Member Posts: 297
    edited October 2013
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    I only took BCP for about 5 years on and off before being taken off them because of my high BP at age 35. Never took anymore but then went on HRT at age 45 to 58 when Dx BC. Yep hormonal- 7 years ago and now have return of same ER pos to collar bone node. So yes, I blame hormones. 39 years ago my son was born and back then we were advised NOT to breast feed and they gave me some sort of milk blocking pills for a few days. Well ...fast forward. A blocked milk duct showed as calcifications on mammogram and finally became a small lump which they still called " only fibrous changes " At age 58 it changed to BC. ER pos hormonal type. ( Surgery and chemo) 7 years later Oct 2013, I just finished RADS for return of same BC to chest wall node and I am supposed to go back on hormone blockers and for sure cut added hormones from food.

  • fitnessfreak
    fitnessfreak Member Posts: 4
    edited October 2013
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    I was on BCP from age 18-24 and then again 27-45. My PCP kept me on them due to ovarain cysts. I took myself off of them, hot flashes were horrendous, went on HRT at 47 April /2012. Diagnosed with IDC 12/2012. I have no family hx. no risk factors. It makes you wonder!

  • Hortense
    Hortense Member Posts: 718
    edited October 2013
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    I took ovral from 1969 - 1980 or '81 then stopped as I thought I might want to have a child and didn't want any hormones in my system. I've been told birth control pills didn't cause my cancer, but I will always wonder about it. There's no history of cancer in my family. I was always slim and fit. I've eaten hormone free milk, eggs, and meats for over 20 years. I don't smoke or drink. I did get my period at 12 and had my first child at 37, both of which are considered BC factors - early periods, late childbearing. I also think something in our environment may combine with other factors to trigger it. Plastics are my chief suspect.

  • amsm123
    amsm123 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2013
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    I have read as many post on this subject as I could and I have yet to find anyone who's doctor told them to stay on birth control. Except mine. My breast surgeon oncologist said that because I had been taking Seasonale for years and only getting my period 4 times a year that it actually was helping to keep my estrogen levels lower. Even though my cancer was almost 100% estrogen fed. I was seen by a radiation oncologist today who never mentioned it at all. I am seeing a medical oncologist on Thursday and I will see what her take on it is. I have no family history of cancer let alone breast cancer. My risk factor was very low. When I was diagnosed I just assumed they would say that it was the 25 yrs on birth control but no one has yet. Makes me wonder though just how long they will let me keep taking it. I am recovering from my double mastectomy for just over 3 weeks now and am still taking them under the doctors advice.

  • mpetago
    mpetago Member Posts: 54
    edited October 2013
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    I was put on birth control pills at age 14 for ovarian cysts, and stayed on them pretty much nonstop till my diagnosis at age 35, except for about a year when I was 27 and had my son. Highly estrogen positive, no genetic markers or family history. The last few years before diagnosis, I was on them for endometriosis, with no break. Pretty sure I was estrogen dominant the whole time, now that I know the symptoms. My period never stopped during chemo, rads, or tamoxifen, took three tries with luprin and tamoxifen to stop it.

  • mazie73
    mazie73 Member Posts: 40
    edited October 2013
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    My doctors have always recommended against birth-control bills because of my family history of breast cancer (mom, two aunts, grandfather). In March, I ended up in the hospital due to heavy menstrual bleeding (had to get a blood transfusion). I was given progesterone and a prescription for birth control pills to stop the bleeding. I continued taking the pill for a month because I was traveling in Europe and didn't want to risk another bleeding episode. My OB/Gyn had me stop taking them in late April. At the same time, I was taking Spironoactalone for oily skin. I was told there's no link between Spiro and breast cancer. In late June, I found a lump in my breast that seemed to appear out of nowhere. It's 100-percent ER+/PR+. Now I'm questioning whether those two meds had anything to do with it.

  • bert00
    bert00 Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2014
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    Birth control pill fights cancer? Should I get
    on it? 

  • clarrn
    clarrn Member Posts: 160
    edited August 2014
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    Only took them for 3 months, so highly unlikely that caused anything for me. 

  • april485
    april485 Member Posts: 1,983
    edited August 2014
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    Took BC pills on and off for about 5 years then doc told me no more due to being a smoker and the fact that I was overweight. That was many years ago. So, not sure if they had anything to do with my BC or not but was highly ER/PR+ so maybe...

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,187
    edited August 2014
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    We would also suggest you look at BCO Research News page for some trechnical data on the relationships. You need to break it into the different types of Pill taken too.

    Please see:

    Is There a Link Between Birth Control Pills and Higher Breast Cancer Risk?

    The Mods

  • Bippy625
    Bippy625 Member Posts: 602
    edited August 2014
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    yup i took BTC pills for 20 years. No idea of connection, my onc says they just do not know why some get it and others do not....i ate bad food, drank too much alcohol, lived a stressful life. Overweight, no exercise, and i wonder if that has more to do with it...i will probably never know.

  • roby7
    roby7 Member Posts: 16
    edited November 2014
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    I have family history of breast cancer ( two aunts both sides ) I refused any hormonal birth control method never took a bill even hermonal iud I refused it . I just diagnosed with 11 cm of dcis this October and I am 35

  • labelle
    labelle Member Posts: 134
    edited November 2014
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    Not BC pills for me ever. I used depo-provera shots for about 18 months (when I was thirty or so). Diagnosed with breast cancer at 51 so I really don't think it was the depo-more likely the 50 years of eating foods filled with hormones and crap, more so in the last 30 or so years as our food supply has become more like a chemistry experiment than agriculture.

    Like Wendy, I'm pretty pissed about this. Strangely enough I switched to a Paleo diet in March of this year, was diagnosed in Sept. Wish I'd known years ago what I now know about our food.

  • MusicLover
    MusicLover Member Posts: 777
    edited November 2014
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    No birth control for me ever, never, never, never! I was told it would increase my chances of this awful disease, ha, what a joke.  So why the hell am I here, dealing with this crap - just need to get some frustrations out.  And why the hell did I have two lumps in the middle of my chest?  Not even in my breasts!!!  

  • WinningSoFar
    WinningSoFar Member Posts: 126
    edited November 2014
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    There are no doubt a lot of women with BC who took birth control pills, but what do we compare that to. What is the rate of women without BC who took birth control pills. Correlation is not causation.