Is the Birth Control Pill Used as Cancer Prevention?

Read Transcript

Well, they are to a point, and I think a lot of my particular patients, my reproductive age patients are under birth control pill if they're candidates for it. Birth control pills, just like everything else in medicine, has risks and benefits, and we always weigh the risks and benefits of everything we do for our patients.

There's risk for patients that have had a history of blood clot, there are much higher risk of developing a blood clot on the birth control pill. Smokers, patients that are over 35 and that are smokers are at higher risk of developing blood clots if they're taking birth control pills so we typically do not prescribe the birth control pill in that particular group of patients.

So there are isolated groups of patients that may not benefit from the birth control pill. There is a emerging data, there may be a slight increase risk in developing breast cancer, and we're still understanding that better, but there are risks and benefits, and so we, again, treat a patient as an individual and for most patients it does seem like it is a good option, it also by the way prevents endometrial cancer, uterine cancer as well taking the birth control pills, so that's another protective benefit of birth control pills in terms of cancer prevention.