Conference Coverage

Hormonal contraception boosts breast cancer risk


 

EXPERT ANALYSIS FROM SDEF HAWAII DERMATOLOGY SEMINAR

– Current or recent use of hormonal contraception is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, although the limited magnitude and duration of breast cancer risk are such that one acne expert says he’s not inclined to change his regimen of care in response to the Danish study findings.

“The data looks clear. It’s not a big risk, but it’s clearly a higher risk,” Lawrence F. Eichenfield, MD, said at the Hawaii Dermatology Seminar provided by the Global Academy for Medical Education/Skin Disease Education Foundation.

Dr. Lawrence F. Eichenfield, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego and professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego Bruce Jancin/MDedge News

Dr. Lawrence F. Eichenfield

“I generally will mention it very briefly to my patients. But it hasn’t changed where I use niche hormonal therapy for my patients,” said Dr. Eichenfield, chief of pediatric and adolescent dermatology at Rady Children’s Hospital–San Diego and a professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.

Investigators at the University of Copenhagen conducted a prospective cohort study among all 1.8 million Danish women aged 15-49 years who had not had cancer, venous thromboembolism, or treatment for infertility. Comprehensive nationwide registries were used to follow the women for an average of 10.9 years, which represents 19.6 million person-years of follow-up.

During that time, 11,517 cases of invasive breast cancer occurred in the study population. The relative risk was 1.2-fold greater in current or recent users of hormonal contraception, compared with never users of oral estrogen/progestin contraceptives or progestin-containing intrauterine devices. The risk rose with duration of use: from 1.09-fold with less than 1 year of exposure to 1.38-fold with more than 10 years of hormonal contraception.

From a population standpoint, there were 13 additional breast cancers diagnosed per 100,000 person-years of hormonal contraception use. That worked out to one extra breast cancer for every 7,690 women using hormonal contraception for 1 year (N Engl J Med. 2017 Dec 7;377[23]:2228-39).

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