Topic: How many of us took Birth Control Pills?

Forum: Hormonal Therapy - Before, During, and After — This is a safe place to share your experiences of others considering or on hormonal treatment.

Posted on: Sep 16, 2009 03:29PM

Posted on: Sep 16, 2009 03:29PM

korynh wrote:

This same question may be burried in the 2 thousand other posts but I haven't found it. I was diagnosed at age 44 and had been taking birth control pills for the previous 13 years. Once I was diagnosed my doctor said to stop the pill immediately....even mid cycle! I at that time had not had a period in  a year but was not testing post-menopausal according to bloodwork. Then when I decided for the first time to read the pamphlet that came in the pill pack it stated right there in black and white MAY CAUSE BREAST CANCER IN YOUNG WOMEN (pre -meno) WITH LONG TERM USE yet no doctor in 13 years ever warned me to stop it and I was there faithfully every year for my paps! I took Lo-Ovral.

I was furious! When I questioned my ob.gyn she said the pill doesn't cause breast cancer.  However, now that chemo has put me into early menopause and I seek help for the hot flashes she says, oh you can't take hormones they might cause breast cancer! I find that just crazy. So I am finding many other survivors who also took oral contraceptives for many years and later developed breast cancer. I would just be curious to see just how many on these forums were too and for how long you were on it.

The pill may not CAUSE breast cancer but what it does to our cycles, creating an estrogen dominance can cause breast cancer, so says the book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Breast Cancer.

Tell your story!

KorynH -age 44 at diagnosis (2008) , IDC 1.6cm , ILC 1.6cm ,Rt. mast. 10/08, 0/6 nodes,stage 2a, gr. 3, ER+/PR+, Her2NU+++, BRCA Neg.,TCH chemo 12/08 - Herceptin completed 12/09, T.E., silicone implant exchange July 2009
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Sep 18, 2009 06:55PM sanaisa wrote:

Coicidence becasue we are a captured audience, or not?  This is very interesting.  I know that I was considered "low risk" for breast cancer because I started my menses after age 12, had two babies before 30, nursed both babies for a year, have no breast cancer in my family history, my BRAC 1 + 2 were both negative (no genetic mutations found).  My Onc did ask about HRT... interesting...I took the birth control pill from age 20-40 (with a cumulative 4 year break to have my babies)...at age 40, I stopped getting my periods between prescriptions and when I sas the OB/GYN, he said I was pre-menopausal...went of the pill, was thrown into hot flash hell and never had another period again.  I declined Premarin (as I owned two horses and could not bear to take that medication), plus I heard a bunch of warnings about it.  Of course, the "camp" out there says that taking birth control pills is the same thing as HRT, so it would have made no difference.  I am not genetically disposed to BC, my "risk factor" was under 10% based on my history.  My Onc is blaming on the environment (telling me to cease eating all meats/dairy products that could contain growth hormones ... in other words, eat only organics).  Onc is also telling me to drink only organic coffees/teas (you can request these at Starbucks and other stores) as the pesticides used and chemicals used in preparing the beans/leaves for consumption can leave levels of toxins that can be harmful to those of us that are ER/PR+ ... who the heck knows what happened?  I am HR/PR+ (to a lower degree) and HER2 +...  I thought it was interesting the Onc asked about my taking the birth control pill...very interesting.  I agree, taking hormomes in any form, direct or indirect (through pills or food) certainly is something to raise an eyebrow over.  I know most people think organic meats and dairy products are a crock, but I am not so sure now.  They attribute girls getting early menses due to the growth hormomes found in meats in dairy products.  And yes, I agree that we are the "guinea pig" generation for this. 

Thank you...

Surgery 7/1/2009 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Dx 7/16/2009, IDC, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 8/27/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/4/2010 Hormonal Therapy 3/27/2010 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 3/27/2012 Evista (raloxifene)
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Sep 18, 2009 06:57PM Diana_B wrote:

cp418 - i agree with you entirely.

 it's not that i think that the pill always causes bc, but that some people have hormonal issues to begin with and shouldn't be given the pill.

i too loved being on the pill because of my bad pms but especially because my breasts were almost always sore and tender to the touch. i know now that's a sign of a hormonal imbalance. i also had my periods more often than every 28 days.

i think they should test hormone levels too before prescribing the pill. how can they possibly say the pill is safe for everyone? surely they should try to create some protocols for warning people or at least should investigate this more closely.

www.mybrilliantcareer.ca Originally diagnosed Feb. 06. Recurrence Nov. 2007 Dx 11/22/2007, IDC, Stage IV, Grade 3, 4/20 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Sep 18, 2009 07:59PM Meece wrote:

I was TN, so hormones didn't play a part in my bc, perhaps.  But, I had extremely heavy periods and my Gyno told me after chemo finished that my hormone levels were high.  It was so nice not to have the periods during chemo.  It was about the only nice hing, other than not needing to shve my legs!  My periods came back with a vengance a a couple of months after completing chemo, so I opted for the Nova-sure procedure, and am extremly happy.  I am just curious if menopause will hit with a vengance, or sneak up on me.  I haven't had a period since the procedure 4 years ago next month.

Sure it's tough, but so are you! Dx 11/23/2003, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/5/2004 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/1/2004
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Sep 20, 2009 01:00PM every8thwoman wrote:

This is a very interesting topic.  Is it possible to ask one of the "experts" during a Q and A  that are sponsored at this website?  I always thought I was "unlucky" that I couldn't take birth control pills because they made me nauseous every time I tried (the dosages were higher then).  I stayed on birth control pills for 4 months before calling it quits.  I STILL got breast cancer.  In my case, I think it was genetic because both mom and grandma got breast cancer and neither took birth control pills.  Always wondered this question tho.

Dx 10/18/2007, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 20, 2009 07:21PM elimar wrote:

I'm reading a book (THE COMPLETE BREAST BOOK - June Engel) which brought up something interesting related to this topic.  Women with "dense breasts," in the mammographic sense of the word, are six times more likely to develop breast cancer. Dense breasts are more likely found in women who began their periods at an early age; lean women; and women who have INCREASED EXPOSURE TO ESTROGENS (here's the Pill tie-in); and alcohol consumption was also said to increase estrogen levels in the body.  So, maybe most of us have "denser" tissue due to BCP usage.

When I see claims that BCPs are linked to cancer somehow, it usually references usage of 10 years or more.  I'm not saying there is a magic number of years, but the 10 year time period is usually what I see mentioned.

Sanaisa, I hope it isn't from tea drinking.  I'm a tea-a-holic, and what about the poor Brits?

Dx 6/24/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 20, 2009 07:39PM - edited Sep 20, 2009 07:49PM by swimangel72

I refused to go on the birth control pill when I was young because my girl-friends  mom died of cancer and the word on the block was that it was caused by the pill. I was never overweight - always exercised, had a late period (14) had 3 kids (the first one at the age of 31, a slight increase risk there) breast fed all three - had an early menopause (48) and was still dx'd with BC at the age of 53 (ER/PR positive by 90%) - I think that progesterone is also playing a major role in whether we get bc but I don't know how. The following are also becoming implicated in  bc: insulin levels, thyroid hormone levels, poly-cystic ovarian syndrom, weight gain in your stomach especially after menopause (guilty as charged) - the food we eat - and the insecticides we were exposed to before we even hit puberty (I was exposed to DDT before I even had breasts - which scientists are now saying is a major risk factor.) OH - and I'm also TALL (5'9") Undecided

ANYWAY - I find it so interesting that the first question they ask us when we get BC is "were you ever on the birth control pill?" - yet - the ob/gyn's are STILL prescribing them nilly-willy and saying they do NOT cause BC! My 21-year-old daughter has just started (today) on Yaz because of a 7cm ovarian cyst and breakthrough bleeding. Her ob/gyn said the pill will help shrink this cyst and help control her periods and acne - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works. I also read somewhere that they are advising young women that the pill is ok for 5 years in a row - but after that, GET OFF! If I can find that study I'll post it here.

3/3/08 Right-side mastectomy with immediate muscle-sparing free tram; 3/9/08 Developed abdominal MRSA staph infection and hernia;Completed 4 months Navelbine and 1 year Herceptin; Arimidex - 3 more years! Diagnosed at age 53 Dx 2/5/2008, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+,
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Sep 20, 2009 07:48PM kk69Z wrote:

I also took the pill back in late 70's until 1981. I would say for about 5 years. Who knows what gave us breast cancer. I also never had children. Most of the other stats don't add up with me.  I guess we all are just the unluckys who got it. But we are all lucky to have found this forum and got to know a lot of great ladies.

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Sep 20, 2009 08:15PM mradf wrote:

I took birth control pills for 10 years - bad, but it was Lo-ovral - better.

Early onset of menstruation - bad, but breast fed my children - good.

Family history of BC and OC - bad.

Drink red wine in moderation - bad/good, depending on who you talk to.

Grew up slim, fit and active - good, but got typical middle aged belly fat - bad, but not enough to use to reconstruct my breasts - good.

I can't figure it out, and it really doesn't matter anymore, because for me and my sister, we became 100% at risk to get BC, although our backgrounds are slightly different.  She was never pregnant or bore children (by choice).  My three other sisters are very concerned, as are their doctors, but no one really knows what to tell them to do any differently.    For them, it's all about screening.  Maybe for our next generation of girls, my daughter and nieces, there will be much more practical information about prevention.

Be well,

Maria

ALL WILL BE WELL. - Julian of Norwich Dx 11/19/2007, DCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Sep 20, 2009 09:49PM Chattypatti wrote:

I took the pill for 3 years from age 21 to 24.  I didn't get cancer until age 52.  This would be interesting research since BC is so prevelant these days.  That's why they are discouraging HRT.  I think anytime we mess with hormones, things can happen.  However there are still plenty of women out there who got BC without ever having been on the pill.  Sure would make for some interesting research!

patti

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Sep 20, 2009 09:58PM portiasproudmom wrote:

I took Ortho Novum on and off for about 20 years.  I've always thought that taking the pill had something to do with my developing bc.  There is no history of bc in my family.

Karen

Dx 8/27/2007, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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