Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk

Oral Contraceptives and Cancer Risk

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What are oral contraceptives?

Oral contraceptives are small doses of hormones needed to prevent pregnancy, normally, you should take a daily dose of this pill. This type of contraceptive is one of the most consumed worldwide, in addition to being the treatment of choice for many diseases associated with the reproductive system of women, especially the polycystic ovaries.

There are several types of oral contraceptives, the most widely consumed in the world and especially in the United States, are oral contraceptives composed of a mixture of female hormones that act to prevent pregnancy. These hormones prevent the sperm from finding the fertile ovules, preventing fertilization.

Oral contraceptives are made up of synthetic versions of female hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen. These synthetic versions regulate the entire hormonal cycle of the woman, preventing the occurrence of ovulation, an important process to avoid pregnancy.

What is the relationship between oral contraceptives and cancer?

Recent studies have determined that excess consumption of progesterone and estrogen can increase the risk of cancer cell growth, such as uterine cancer and breast cancer. These hormones stimulate the renewal and growth of cells in the endometrium, but these studies determined that synthetic versions of these hormones, used in contraceptive pills, can stimulate excessive cell production, increasing the risk of cancer cell growth.

The use of oral contraceptives has also increased the risk of human papilloma virus (HPV) infections, increasing the risk of cervical cancer. This virus is one of the main risk factors for cervical cancer, because it causes irreversible damage to the cells, stimulating the excessive proliferation of cells to try to repair the damage and increasing the risk of the growth of cancer cells.

There are different types of oral contraceptives, their composition varies according to the hormonal needs of women. These contraceptives must be prescribed under the strict control of the gynecologist, who can establish an adequate treatment. The abuse of non-prescription contraceptives increases the risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer.

How can oral contraceptives cause cancer?

The excessive consumption of oral contraceptives without medical supervision, can cause hormonal changes and important cellular changes, related to the stimulation of cancer cells. Oral contraceptives can cause cancer in the following way:

  • Causing cellular damage in the endometrial cells. Excess synthetic hormones can damage and eliminate cells in this area causing endometrial cancer.
  • Decreased ovulations can cause deficiency in hormones needed by the female reproductive system, increasing the risk of uterine cancer.
  • Estrogens cause decreased production of bile acids, necessary for colon function, causing colorectal cancer.

Relationship of oral contraceptives with breast cancer

Breast cancer: According to analyzes carried out by the World Health Organization, women who have consumed oral contraceptives have increased the risk of suffering from breast cancer by 7%. This risk is associated with the prolonged use of oral contraceptives.