"The Pill Linked to Breast Cancer Risk"...OR NOT! Whatever Happened to Responsible Journalism?!

The recently published article, entitled "The Pill linked to breast cancer risk for younger women," is an example of the typical irresponsible journalism rampant in today's media publications. The title is inflammatory and unnecessarily raises fears where there is already enough fear. To make matters worse, the conclusion of the article is that birth control pills remain safe for thousands of women and no change in behavior is recommended on the basis of the study. So why write the article? The title is obviously a pathetic ploy to get more people to read it. Beyond that, I see no redeeming qualities.

Excerpts as follows:

"But birth control pills have evolved over the decades since their introduction and the hormone doses they contain have dropped steadily, so many studies are based on data for formulations that are no longer used, Beaber and her colleagues point out in the journal Cancer Research."

""Use of formulations with high dose estrogen, ethynodiol diacetate (synthetic progestin), and specific triphasic oral contraceptives in the past year was associated with an increased breast cancer risk in our study, while other formulations, including low dose estrogen oral contraceptives, did not appear to be associated with an elevated risk," Beaber told Reuters Health."

"“Weak associations, consistent with noise and not signal, were the overall finding,” Dr. David A. Grimes told Reuters Health by phone.

Grimes is a clinical professor in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UNC School of Medicine in Wilmington, North Carolina."

The new results are not important for women or doctors, Grimes said. Other, better studies have found no increase in breast cancer risk with birth control, which is essential for women’s health, he said."