U.S.women, under 45 years old, have experienced a 12 percent annual increase in invasive breast cancer since 2007.
Busting Breast Cancer recently uncovered this epidemic-like trend using state-based data collected by the North American Association of National Cancer Registries and published bi-annually by the American Cancer Society.
Many women already know that breast cancer has become a younger woman’s disease, but few understand some of the most probable causes or risk factors behind this startlingly trend.
Contraceptive drug use in the U.S. has grown rapidly since 1997, with over 13 million teens and women under 50, now using some type of hormone contraceptive drug. In addition, 85,000 women in the U.S. used fertility drugs last year, an all time high. Market researchers estimate six million or more U.S. women will have used one or more fertility drug by 2025.
Increasing numbers of international studies show that the chemical estrogens and chemical progestins in these drugs increase cell proliferation and other risky conditions with regard to breast cancer.
How many younger women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer since 2007 were using hormone contraceptive drugs or had recently used some type of hormone fertility drugs? No government agency tracks this data.
We also know that increasing profits are being made each year, as more women use these chemical hormones. The U.S. contraceptive drug market is currently worth $3.8 billion; U.S. fertility clinics enjoy another $4.4 billion each year.
A lone voice at the National Cancer Institute recently recommended the federal government spend serious dollars studying which fertility drugs might be increasing invasive breast cancer rates. Is it the synthetic estrogens in some of the IVF (in vitro fertilization) drugs? Is it the progestin drugs, such as Elizabeth Edwards used, to carry her youngest two children to full term?
Additional studies are needed to clarify the effects on cancer risk of fertility drugs, especially those used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization, said Louise Brinton, Chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at NCI, co-author of an article on fertility drugs and breast cancer, to be published in June in Seminars in Reproductive Medicine.
Have you been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer after using fertility drugs? Please send us your story.
Are you an oncology nurse, who is noticing more and more patients have used fertility drugs? Please send us your story.
Let’s share our knowledge. Let’s support Louise Brinton as she advocates for a national study on fertility drugs and invasive breast cancer. We must find every possible way to reverse this epidemic-like trend of invasive breast cancer in our younger women.
posted by: Susan Wadia-Ells PhD, National Breast Cancer Prevention Project/Busting Breast Cancer ©
Louise A. Brinton, et al, Fertility Drugs and the Risk of Breast and Gynecologic Cancers, Seminars in Reproductive Medicine, Vol 30, No 2/2012 June 1, 2012
U.S. “Baby Business” (Infertility Services) Worth $4 Billion, Marketdata Enterprises, Inc. August 17, 2009
Eggs and Society, Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation, Nov 4, 2011
Estimated Annual Increase in Cases of Invasive Breast Cancer in U.S. Women 2007-2011, www.bustingbreastcancer.org , May, 2012
Facts on Contraceptive Use in the United States, In Brief, Guttmacher Institute, June 2010
Pike, M, et al, Estrogens, projestogens, normal breast cell proliferation, and breast cancer risk, Epidemiology Review 1993;15: 17-35