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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Oct 5, 2009 03:35PM vivo wrote:

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?

The meaning of life is not what you learn but what you teach
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Oct 4, 2013 01:11PM 013petroleum072magnolia wrote:

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,

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Oct 7, 2013 02:36PM NatsFan wrote:

Never took BC pills.

Mary Dx 12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 7, 2013 02:57PM dogsandjogs wrote:

Took them from 1965 to 1968. This is when they were the most potent, but nobody knew the risks of such high dosages then.

Dx 11/1982, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/17 nodes Surgery 11/17/1982 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 11/15/2010, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/11/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel
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Oct 7, 2013 10:54PM - edited Oct 7, 2013 10:54PM by Annette47

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.

Dx 11/20/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 11/20/2012, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/18/2012 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 1/21/2013 Breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2013
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Oct 7, 2013 11:21PM GrammyR wrote:

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.

RHH Dx 12/1/2005, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, 1/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/6/2006 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Radiation Therapy 7/3/2013 Lymph nodes Dx 7/25/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs/other, Grade 3, 6/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 8/17/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Oct 7, 2013 11:36PM fitnessfreak wrote:

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!

Dx 12/31/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/24/2013 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy 2/25/2013
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Oct 7, 2013 11:56PM Hortense wrote:

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.

Cold Cap user - kept my hair Dx 1/24/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/29/2012 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 5/8/2012 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/24/2012 Breast Hormonal Therapy 10/16/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 9, 2013 12:19AM amsm123 wrote:

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.

Dx 8/9/2013, ILC, 4cm, Stage II, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Oct 9, 2013 01:19AM mpetago wrote:

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.

Dx 2/18/2004, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 1/11 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/22/2004 Lumpectomy; Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 4/1/2004 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 10/15/2004 Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/1/2005

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