A new research has suggested that there appears to be an association between Depo-Provera, an injectable form of progestin-only birth control, and an increased risk of breast cancer in young women.
The study found that recent use of the injectable contraceptive (formally called depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate or DMPA) for a year or longer was linked with a 2.2-fold increased risk of invasive breast cancer.
“Although breast cancer is rare among young women and the elevated risk of breast cancer associated with DMPA appears to dissipate after discontinuation of use, our findings emphasize the importance of identifying the potential risks associated with specific forms of contraceptives given the number of available alternatives,” study leader Dr. Christopher Li, a breast cancer epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues wrote.
“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 noted in a news release from the research center.
The findings are published online and in the April 15 print issue of the journal Cancer Research.