Summary: Long-Term Use of Oral Contraceptives Early in Life Increases
Risk of Breast Cancer
Risk increases for women and girls who take oral
contraceptives and are genetically predisposed to breast cancer.
women that are genetically susceptible to early-onset breast
cancer (BRCA1 mutation carriers), the risk for cancer
increased when these women used oral contraceptives in the
following situations: 1) if they used contraceptives before
1975, 2) if they used contraceptives before age 30, and 3) if
they used contraceptives for five or more years. In this study,
women were grouped on the basis of their date of birth, their
current age, their ethnicity, and their country of residence and
all this data was aligned with their incidence of breast
cancer. The results of this matched-case control study indicate
that younger women with BRCA1 mutations who use oral
contraceptives for 5 or more years had an increased risk of
breast cancer. The risk of breast cancer in BRCA2 mutation
carriers does not appear to be associated with oral
contraceptives, but as these were a small subgroup in the study,
further studies are necessary to confirm that observation.
1OralContraceptives and the Risk of Breast Cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2
Mutation Carriers, Journal of the National Caner Institute, Vol.
94, No. 23, Dec. 2002, pp.1773-1779