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Increased risk of cancer linked to apparent defective drug

For many women in California, birth control pills may be an everyday aspect of their healthcare maintenance. For some, this may be to prevent pregnancy, while others may take a daily pill to help control otherwise erratic menstrual cycles. However, that daily pill that so many women take may actually be a defective drug.

A study has presented new evidence that the popular birth control may actually increase a woman’s chance of having breast cancer. In order to determine the exact data, researchers studied the medical records of over 1,000 women were suffering from breast cancer. They were able to determine what birth control pills the women took, and what the estrogen levels of those pills were.

Those who took a pill with a typical amount of estrogen increased their risk by 50 percent. Women who were prescribed a pill with a slightly more moderate amount of estrogen had their risk elevated by 60 percent. The risk was even more pronounced for women who imbibed a birth control pill with an excessively high amount of the hormone, who saw their risk increase triple fold.

The elevated risk for cancer can apparently come from the estrogen in the pills. Typically, estrogen gives a woman’s breasts the signal to grow epithelial cells, the signal increases to an unnatural level and may prompt growth that can later turn into cancer. Women in California who suspect that they may have been prescribed a defective drug after being diagnosed with breast cancer while taking the pill may be able to pursue a product liability claim. If the claim is successfully litigated, a victim may be entitled to financial recourse.

Source: The Atlantic, "The Link Between Birth Control Pills and Breast Cancer", Olga Khazan, Aug. 1, 2014

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