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Study: Use of Depo Provera Increases Breast Cancer Risk

A new study found that women who use depo provera, a type of injectable contraceptive, have a 2.2 fold increased chance of developing breast cancer.

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is reporting on a study of 1,028 women ages 20-44 published in the April 15 edition of Cancer Research which found that women who use depo provera (DMPA) for 12 months or more had a statistically significant 2.2-fold increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

The authors, Christopher Li and his team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center called it the "first large scale U.S. study" examining the link between DMPA and breast cancer. They concluded it's the fifth study "conducted over a diverse group of countries that have observed that recent DMPA use is associated with a 1.5- to 2.3-fold increased risk of breast cancer."

Like cancer-causing oral contraceptives (the pill) and combined (estrogen + progestin) hormone replacement therapy, the DMPA-breast cancer link supports an abortion-breast cancer link. Estrogen in the presence of progesterone (i.e. progestin) stimulates the growth of cancer-susceptible Type 1 and 2 breast lobules.

"In the case of DMPA or any other progestin-only pill, the estrogen component is provided by the woman's own ovarian estrogen," reported Joel Brind, professor of human biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York.

This is not the first time this particular contraceptive has been cited for its dangerous side effects. In 2004, studies linking prolonged use to irreversible osteoporosis prompted the Food and Drug Administration to demand that the manufacturer put a new warning on the label informing those who use it that they "may lose significant bone mineral density." The longer a woman uses the drug, the greater the risk. "Depo Provera Contraceptive Injection should be used as a long-term birth control method (eg, longer than 2 years) only if other birth control methods are inadequate," the label says.

These new risks are only compounding the problems surrounding this contraceptive which many women opt for because they only require a few injections a year to prevent pregnancy, thus eliminating the need to remember to take a pill.

"Cancer groups should have implemented a nationwide awareness campaign about the DMPA-breast cancer link, but it's no surprise they didn't," writes Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. 

"They've lied to women about the risks of abortion, oral contraceptives and combined hormone replacement therapy for decades. They still haven't reported that two studies since 2009 strongly linked oral contraceptive use with the deadly triple-negative breast cancer."

She adds: "In implementing Obamacare, the federal government will require employers to purchase insurance that provides women free abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations, including DMPA. Why offer free drugs that damage women's health, but not free life-saving drugs? That's the perfect definition of a war on women!"

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