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Mirena IUD/breast cancer

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  • joy68
    joy68 Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2014
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    Strange that I google my concern about having a golf ball sized lump on my right breast late this July, 2014.  I had the Mirena in April, 2014 for also heavy bleeding that they say is the cause of my sometimes severe anemia.  Got mammogram, ultrasound, and biopsy.  Result is negative, they say, and that it won't turn to a cancer.  I went back to my OB/Gyn just last week and he told me that Mirena did not cause this lump.  And so, I asked if this was just a coincidence?  It grew over night and I was just surprised that it was there all of a sudden.  I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence.  That's just too great of a coincidence for me.  I didn't think I'd find many women, who have the same or worse problem or concern with this Mirena.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,083
    edited September 2014
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    Hi Joy68. Welcome to the BCO community.

    You have joined a terrific group of supportive and
    knowledgeable people who can offer wisdom, information and their own
    experiences. 

    We hope this assists in your search for answers. Also search in our main Breastcancer.org website for Mirena and you'll find Alternatives to the Pill « Think Pink Live Green Column that you will likely find of interest.

    The Mods

  • algebro
    algebro Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2014
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    I had the mirena iud placed 6mths ago and now I am going for an ultrasound after having had a mammogram. If it turns out that I have cancer I can guarantee that it is because of this iud. I am getting this iud taken out tomorrow!  

  • Unknown
    edited October 2014
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    hello all

    I had my mirena for 3 yrs and 1 month before I decided to have it removed just last month as I have been having my period 2x a month therefore making me feel uncomfortable, nauseaus and had headaches most of the time. I usually perform self breast exam every once in a while until 7 weeks ago (3 weeks before I had my IUD taken out) I felt a lump in my left breast. This is the 1st time I felt this in my breast so I have it checked too when I visited my OBGYN. She immediately sent mo for an xray. The following day, thay had me do a breast biopsy. The result was not cancer yet but not normal either. They told me it's ADH. I was scheduled to have my lump removed this Thursday and I have been thinking crazy about it feeling so paranoid of getting sick. I have a very strong feeling that MIRENA has something to do with this because I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't take illegal drugs, I exercise regularly, eat healthy and we have no history of any cancer in the family. It is good to know that there is a discussion like this in the web and it somehow eases my feeling that I am not alone in this journey. Please update us of any happening. God bless us all!

  • loulou711
    loulou711 Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2014
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    I had the Mirena from 2008-2009, hated it and got it removed. Had 2nd child & was talked into it again in Nov 2011. I was supposed to get a tubal, but wasn't 100% sure we were done. Anyway, almost immediately I had severe back pain on the lower right side. I ended up having my gall bladder out in July 2012 & that didn't solve the problem.  Eventually the back pain eased, but I developed severe stomach problems. After over $4k in medical bills, tests etc., still no answers. I also have almost constant periods & kept being told they should go away...We'll 3 yrs later still have on average 2 a month. In Dec 2013 my right breast was very itchy & i had a discharge that looked like milk (I did go the the gyno but it had stopped). In Sept 2014 I felt a big mass in my left breast. Went to the gyno & she felt it right away, sent me for a diagnostic mammo & us. Had both & both were clear. I just went to the BS today, & she felt it too, it's about 4cm. She said she thinks it's "weird" & doesn't know why it's there, but since both tests were clear, she'll just see me back in 3 months. I already scheduled my Mirena to come out, but am somewhat frustrated just because if I need more testing, I'd rather it be before 12/31/14, since I've met my deductible for the year. I'm glad she doesn't think it's anything,  but it's so strange to me this big hard mass can appear seemingly overnight with no real answer. Thoughts anyone?

  • mary625
    mary625 Member Posts: 154
    edited October 2014
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    Perhaps you could ask for an MRI and/or a biopsy?  I had a mass that I could feel but could not be seen on the diagnostic mammogram.  However, it could be seen on the US.  MRI is even more sensitive.  I'd ask for it.  These forums are full of stories of women who were told something was nothing.  I don't mean to scare you, but just being honest.

    Your comment about "being talked into it" really resonated with me.  I was talked into DepoProvera before Mirena.  I chose Mirena because OBGYN refused to do the tubal ligation on me.  I told him that I didn't want any more hormones at age 40.  I had no idea that Mirena's hormones could cross over into my blood stream, and he did not tell me.  Nine years later, on my 2nd Mirena, I was diagnosed.  

  • Chelle717
    Chelle717 Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2014
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    Hello All. I have been recently diagnosed with DCIS after six years of having my mirena. I actually had the first one for the recommended 5 years and the second for just over a year now.  As I do not have a lump or tumor, and the only symptom was a bloody discharge from my nipple,  they are uncertain how long the cancer has been there.  I go in for a mastectomy in one week. However,  I have a strong suspicion that my cancer is related to my mirena.  Does anyone know if there is a proven connection between the two and if anything is being done about it?

  • julz4
    julz4 Member Posts: 1,373
    edited November 2014
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    Here is an article from CNN.....

    • updated 10:16 AM EDT 07.09.14Breast cancer risk may be higher with an IUDBy Val Willingham, CNN

      (CNN) - Modern contraceptives have radically changed women's lives, but they are not risk free.

      A new study out of the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecologyfinds the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, may be associated with a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer.

      This form of IUD was originally developed as a contraceptive, but later was also used as a treatment for women who suffer from heavy periods (menorrhagia) as well as endometriosis and chronic pelvic pain.


    Levonorgestrel is a syntheticprogesterone, which is a hormone that's naturally produced in a woman's body. It regulates ovulation. The hormone causes changes to the uterine lining and mucus in the cervix which makes it harder for sperm to reach the uterus, therefore making it more difficult to conceive. Because it strengthens the uterine lining, it helps cut down on heavy bleeding.

    • Levonorgestrel is also the hormone used in the Plan Bcontraceptive, better known as the morning after pill.

      In this study, Finnish researchers from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hyvinkää Hospital in Hyvinkää, Finland, wanted to examine the association between premenopausal use of the LNG-IUS and cancer rates, especially when it came toendometrial adenocarcinoma(cancer of the uterine wall).

      The study followed more than 93,000 Finnish women between the ages of 30 and 49. All of the subjects were using the hormone-releasing IUD to treat their heavy periods from 1994 to 2007. At that time, up to 60% of all LNG-IUSs sold in Finland were used for heavy periods and not for contraception.

      Investigators found that over time, the device did not significantly raise the risk of uterine cancer or ovarian, pancreatic and lung cancers. But researchers did see a spike in the number of breast cancer cases, especially in women between the ages of 45-49, compared to women in the general population who were not using this particular IUD.

      "The number of diagnosed new breast cancer cases among Finnish women who used LNG-IUS for menorrhagia was 19% higher than in Finnish general population," said Dr. Tuuli Soini, the lead author of the study.

      However, the research does not say that this type of IUD causes breast cancer. Soini also adds "one limitation of our study was that women suffering from heavy menstruation may in fact represent a selected group of women who may have other risk factors for cancer, such as factors related to lifestyle, genetic factors, just to name a few."

      According to Soini, this study is the first linking premenopausal LNG-IUS use and breast cancer.
      Two earlier studies did not reveal an increased cancer risk, according to the study.
      For physicians, this research is a new piece of information they can pass on to those patients.
      "It's a great reminder that we need to weigh the benefits of some of these methods against the risks," said Dr. Angela Marshall, director of Comprehensive Women's Health in Silver Spring, Maryland. "We need to educate our patients, because many of these therapies may work, but some could have serious side effects. Women need to be told. Then it's up to the patient, along with a doctor's guidance, to make the decision."
      The study authors agree.
      "LNG-IUS use seemed to protect against endometrial cancer, which is a common cancer type steadily increasing in the population," said Soini. "We are still convinced LNG-IUS is the best treatment modality for heavy menstrual bleeding, a common health problem affecting the quality of life of a large proportion of female population overall. We certainly hesitate to recommend any change of the clinical menorrhagia management guidelines."
      Soini also stressed, "However, health benefits and health risks should be carefully taken into account while counseling menorrhagia patients, in relation to any hormonal or surgical therapy."

  • loulou711
    loulou711 Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2014
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    I called the BS today & spoke with the nurse. I explained how I've met my deductible for the year, & could she ask the doctor if she thinks she will order any more tests if the lump is still there in January (she told me to come back in 3 months). I told her I know it may be hard to predict, but I'm not rich either. She said there's no way to know. She said she looked in my chart and "it's nothing". So I asked if there was any way to move the appt up to December & she said no, there's no reason to because it's nothing. Then she said "see you in January". Ugh...why does she even want to see me back at all if it's nothing??

    I tried forgetting about it, but it's very noticeable. It's not necessarily painful as it is sensitive if it's touched. If I push on it, it feels numb. Nothing like my other breast. I don't want to be accused of overreacting either. I'm not saying it's cancer, but I do think it's something & it's strange to me it doesn't show up. I just never feel like I can advocate for myself when it comes to medical stuff.

  • PeteyNewcombe
    PeteyNewcombe Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2014
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    Hi, I had a marina fitted last year June 2013 - at 42 my husband and I just didn't want to fall pregnant - I hadn't been on birth control since I took the pill in my late teens - we have 2 daughters (17 & 19) - breastfed both. I've never smoked, drink only a couple of drinks only at parties, I'm very healthy except for the fact I've just been diagnosed with breast cancer Invasive Lobular Carcinoma in my right breast ... I was about to have a double mastectomy last week when I sought out a second opinion from a specialist breast surgeon who convinced me that I should have chemo first to shrink the tumours as she didn't think the surgery would be successful getting it all (unless it was shrunk) ... so had my first chemo last week. I'm on a six month plan of chemo, mastectomy and radiation and 10 years of temoxofin ... and I am so sure that this has all occurred because I chose the Marina ... The first 3 months after the marina was fitted I experience terrible period cramps (I'd never really had any before my whole life - my menstrual cycle was all very normal) ... and in those first 3 months I had weird hot-poker type pains throughout my breasts ... I went to the doctor twice to have the marina taken out and was told that it will all settle down ... it did and I didn't get a period - just very light spotting ... BUT just over a year later I notice my right nipple didn't look as perfectly round as the left and that my right nipple inverted a little .. so I went to the doctor who saw it too and got a referral for mammogram and ultrasound ... I had had my breasts checked by 2 different female doctors throughout the year because I'd felt a few lumps in my left breast but there wasn't concern - just cysts. I'd also had a mammogram last September 2013 which gave me a great letter saying I didn't have breast cancer and didn't need another mammogram until 2015 (they do government funded mammograms routinely every 2 years in Australia) .

    After the mammogram and ultrasound just over a month ago (October 2014) the reports were that nothing showed up on the mammogram but there was shadowing on the ultrasound so a few days later a biopsy confirmed Invasive Lobular Carcinoma - diagnosed Halloween Eve 2014. My world fell apart - thought it was death sentence ... met with public hospital surgeon a week later who said he'd do a mastectomy in 2 weeks and asked if I wanted the other breast off as well ... WTF? He couldn't say if there was or wasn't anything wrong the left breast. A few days before the double mastectomy was due I sought the second opinion and thank god I did as my case has been brought up at last week's round table and the 4 or 5 other surgeons there as well as 4 other oncologists were all on the same page that I needed chemo to shrink the tumours before undergoing the mastectomy as there was no way that the size of it at the moment could be give a good clearance of good tissue around the tumour and all other problems would have happened if the mastectomy had gone ahead first.

    My first chemo last week went well .. no nausea, third to seventh days I've been very lethargic .. and now I'm feeling 100% .. hair will start to fall out in the next few weeks ... I'm scheduled for chemo once every three weeks ... for at least 6 rounds ... third or fourth round the breast specialist surgeon will assess whether I'm ready for the mastectomy (just the one breast at the moment - the other breast down the track only if i'd prefer that for better double reconstruction) ... my right lymph nodes are effected so I'll have to have some of the out at surgery also .. and I'll have to have radiation treatment after the chemo also. My bone scan and CT Scan a couple of weeks ago were good - nothing showed up except for a cyst on my left ovary which no-one seems concerned about.

    The moment I had the Marina put in I regretted it - it hurt a lot when the doctor put it in - and for 3 months my body was trying to tell me to get it out - sore breasts and cramps ... I did get it taken out ... the day I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer - Halloween 2014.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,083
    edited December 2014
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    Dear Petey, welcome to BCO and although we're glad you found us, we are sorry for the reason.

    No one can be sure what is the cause for BC but we can understand your frustration on a couple of issues, including the Marina experience. As we stated above, you will likely find of interest Alternatives to the Pill « Think Pink Live Green Column .

    It seems like your team now has a quality plan in place and we hope your treatments go well, with minimal SEs and maximum success.

    You may be interested in linking up with Australia Sisters on Australian and New Zealand Breast Cancer Survivors .

    All the best

    The Mods

  • sfgene
    sfgene Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2015
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    My sister had a Mirena IUD placed in about 2 - 3 years ago and was diagnosed with IDC in November. She had it immediately removed.

  • runnergirl26
    runnergirl26 Member Posts: 66
    edited January 2015
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    I too had a merina in place when I was diagnosed. I was fifty when I was diagnosed and I had had my mirena in for about seven years.

  • runnergirl26
    runnergirl26 Member Posts: 66
    edited January 2015
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    Interesting I was fifty one when diagnosed with stage 3a ILC as well. I also went in regularly every year after forty for mammograms. I was diagnosed after I noticed my nipple retracting in april 2014. My mammogram wasn't due until the end of july. I had had my merina in for 7 years at the time of diagnosis. I too was assurred that it was a very small amount of hormones to my uterus.

  • juliecc
    juliecc Member Posts: 4,360
    edited January 2015
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    I had my Mirena IUD for 4.5 years when I was diagnosed. I had it removed 2 weeks before by bilateral mastectomy. I think that years of birth control pills, a year of depo shots, and the Mirena IUD played a role. I have no family history.

  • joni1973
    joni1973 Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2015
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    I have had mine 3 years and was just diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Next Thursday I will undergo a mastectomy with reconstructive surgery of the breast

    I have no family history

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,083
    edited January 2015
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    Welcome to BCO joni1973, we're glad you found us but sorry you had to. You have found a helpful and knowledgeable group of ladies who will

    We wish you all the best for your Mx on Thursday and hope you find this site and its members, helpful in your journey.

    Keep us informed of your progress.

    The Mods

  • Suziej58
    Suziej58 Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2015
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    I had the Mirena coil fitted for five years, I requested a mammogram February 2014 and was told everything was ok, although when having a ultrasound I thought that something had been found and I was asked if I was on hrt, I told them no but I had the Mirena coil in and they said that's fine then and sent home.Nothing changed in my breast but I still wasn't comfortable about my left breast, my doctor sent me back for another mammogram in December, I was diagnosed with bc on Christmas Eve, I am due a lumpectomy on Friday. Seeing so many posts about people developing bc and having the Mirena there has to be a link.

  • 1979girl1
    1979girl1 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2015
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    I am 35 and have had mirena in for almost seven years.  This is actually my second one.  I have had swollen and tender breasts a few time a year every year since I've had mirena, which is a side effect.  Just recently in the past several weeks it is only my left breast that is tender and now it is swollen bigger than my right breast.  I went to see a nurse practitioner who is referring me to the breast imaging center in the town I work in.  My appointment is set for April 7th, but the more I read the more nervous I am becoming.  My breast hasn't changed in color or texture but it is warmer to the touch than the right one and has at least 3 lumps, and the one at the top is pretty big.  The nurse practitioner believes it is cysts.  Any advice you guys have will be appreciated.

  • Loving_Mom
    Loving_Mom Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2015
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    The Mirena has been found in many studies to cause breast cancer.

    According to this study here: http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(14)02192-9/fulltext

    "Indeed, in the study of Soini et al, levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system use was associated with a higher incidence of breast cancer compared with the general population.

    Ruan et al showed that levonorgestrel increased the proliferation in MCF-7 breast cancer cells by overexpressing the progesterone receptor..

    The continuation of levonorgestrel intrauterine system is not recommended for women with a history of breast cancer. Unfortunately, there was no information concerning cancer history of women who were included in this study. Indeed, the recurrence of breast cancer is increased in women who continue to use the levonorgestrel intrauterine system."

    So, it is best to have the mirena removed immediately, and get a hormone panel test, and then follow a natural hormonal therapy protocol along with diet changes to restore hormone levels and get them back to a healthy range. The following articles have some good suggestions and more studies: http://detoxscientific.com/mirena-weight-gain/ and http://blogs.naturalnews.com/eliminate-side-effects-mirena-iud-bleeding-weight-gain-mirena-crash-remedy/

  • mary625
    mary625 Member Posts: 154
    edited August 2015
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    http://foodforbreastcancer.com/news/levonorgestrel-releasing-intrauterine-devices-increase-the-risk-of-breast-cancer

    Did anyone see this study out of Finland? 78% higher risk of lobular carcinoma after two Mirenas. I was on my 9th year and 2nd Mirena when diagnosed with Stage IIIc lobular.

  • JohnSmith
    JohnSmith Member Posts: 61
    edited August 2015
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    My wife was in her 8th year of the Mirena when she was diagnosed with ILC.

    The Mirena is certainly a possible contributing factor, although it may be years/decades before they can prove the connection.

  • lekker
    lekker Member Posts: 238
    edited August 2015
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    I posted on another thread last summer about a different (I think) study out of Finland that did show an increased incidence of BC in IUD users, but lower rates of several other cancers...


    Log in to post a reply

    Jul 26, 2014 05:01PM lekker wrote:

    Kamm - the study was actually published in Obstetrics&Gynecology. Here's a link to the abstract

    http://journals.lww.com/greenjournal/Abstract/2014...

    The part I find really interesting is that while they found a 20% higher than expected rate of breast cancer, the rates of pancreatic, uterine, ovarian and lung cancers were 30% to over 50% lower than expected. Also, the study population was made up of women who had the Mirena inserted specifically to deal with heavy menstrual bleeding - which in my non-professional opinion seems to indicate that they were already dealing with a hormonal imbalance of some kind. If the original imbalance was estrogen dominance, was that what actually made them more likely to get breast cancer? Who knows.

  • 513mgv
    513mgv Member Posts: 54
    edited August 2015
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    I also was diagnosed with breast cancer at 49 after having a mirena IUD for 5 years. No history. I was stage 4 when diagnosed. Marilyn

  • Hotrodmommy
    Hotrodmommy Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2015
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    I was dignosed with breast cancer IDC 2 yrs after having the Mirena put in for heavy bleeding. I took that sucker out as soon as I got the DX! I believe the Mirena had something to do with me getting breast cancer. I know that mammograms don't always catch breast cancer, but I did have a clear mammogram 1 month before I got the Mirena. I recently just read the Finland study, it solidified my feelings. Hoping for more studies on the connection between breast cancer and the Mirena IUD. 

  • inks
    inks Member Posts: 57
    edited August 2015
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    513mgv since your cancer is PR- Mirena can't be the culprit in your case. The active ingredient is levongesterol a type of progestin.

  • AmyfromMI
    AmyfromMI Member Posts: 115
    edited August 2015
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    I was in my 6th year of Mirena use when I was diagnosed with ILC. PR was much higher than ER. About 90% vs 60%. MyBS said my cancer had been growing for about 5 years....

  • mary625
    mary625 Member Posts: 154
    edited August 2015
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    The law firms that you can find on the Internet are beginning to post info about this study. I contacted one and they called me today. Apparently, they're not ready to start filing cases yet, but they're retaining me on their list. One step closer.

    I have already had a prominent, forward-thinking oncologist tell me that the Mirena was the likely culprit, in her opinion.

  • Tessy
    Tessy Member Posts: 38
    edited October 2015
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    mary625 I also believe my BC was caused by my Mirena IUD. Our stats are about the same. I had no family history and according to my genetic testing I had a less than 0.7% of getting BC. I also had 2 Mirena's and was in my 8-9th year with the IUD. I am so mad about this!

  • mary625
    mary625 Member Posts: 154
    edited October 2015
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    Tessy--yes shockingly similar. It's so hard because there's nowhere to send my anger. I am mainly angry at the OBGYN who refused my request for a tubal ligation at age 40 and gave me the Mirena instead. Age 49? You guessed it. And I'm also mad at the spouse who wouldn't get a vasectomy. I guess I should be mad at the company too. I am definitely convinced that it was the cause, but it also gives me hope that now that the thing if out of me and I'm not getting bathed in progesterone, maybe it won't come back.