Whoever said you are too young to have breast cancer was wrong, unfortunately. The contraceptive, depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA, is commonly used in the world by females. However, in the past, there have not been many studies on whether DMPA actually increases the risk of breast cancer in young women. Christopher Li, a breast cancer epidemiologist of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, conducted a study to see what he could find and to see if it agrees with what has been found previously. Li says the “study adds to the body of knowledge from international studies conducted in a diverse group of countries — Kenya, New Zealand, Thailand, Mexico and Costa Rica — which have shown that one of the risks associated with DMPA use may be an increased risk of breast cancer.”
To evaluate relations between DMPA and breast cancer risk, logistic regression was used. Li and his team found that recent DMPA use for one year or longer correlated with an increased risk of breast cancer by 2.2 times. On a brighter note, the risk of breast cancer goes away within months after contraceptive use has stopped. In addition, it was determined that the risk of breast cancer did not increase in women who used DMPA for less than a year. That’s a relief!
Even though young women are not usually at risk for breast cancer, the “findings emphasize the importance of identifying the potential risks associated with specific forms of contraceptives given the number of available alternatives,” the authors wrote. In this study, 1,028 Seattle-area women ages 20 to 44 who had been diagnosed with breast cancer participated as did 919 age-matched controls without a history of breast cancer. Roughly 10 percent reported using this contraceptive. “In the United States many women have numerous options for contraception, and so it is important to balance their risks and benefits when making contraceptive choices,” Li said. To all the ladies out there, make sure to be smart about what contraceptive you take; it could save your “lady humps”.