Study: Depo Provera Use Increases Breast Cancer Risk

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 11, 2012   |   11:19AM   |   Washington, DC

A new study of women using the Depo Provera birth control drug finds the risk of breast cancer is increased, according to information released today from the on Abortion/Breast Cancer.

The group notes a study of 1,028 women ages 20-44 in the April 15, 2012 issue of Cancer Research found that recent users of Depo Provera (DMPA)  for 12 months or more had a statistically significant 2.2-fold increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

The authors, Christopher Li and his team (including Janet Daling) at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center called it the “first large scale U.S. study” examining the link between Depo Provera and breast cancer. They concluded it’s the fifth study “conducted over a diverse group of countries that have observed that recent DMPA use is associated with a 1.5- to 2.3-fold increased risk of breast cancer.”

Li’s team said the 2003 Women’s Health Initiative study of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) “strongly suggest” that agents containing progestin, “medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), in particular, increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer.” MPA combined with estrogen raised risk by 24%, while estrogen only replacement therapy “had a nonstatistically significant reduced risk.”

Joel Brind, professor of human biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, commented on the new study, saying, “In the case of DMPA or any other progestin-only pill, the estrogen component is provided by the woman’s own ovarian estrogen.”

The DMPA-breast cancer link supports an abortion-breast cancer link in the same way cancer-causing oral contraceptives (the pill) and combined (estrogen + progestin) HRT, says Karen Malec of the Abortion/Breast Cancer group. Malec faulted the Obama administration for promoting cancer-causing drugs and devices at the same time it accuses pro-life advocates of engaging in a so-called “War on Women” by standing up for conscience rights on abortion and birth control.

“In implementing Obamacare, the federal government will require employers to purchase insurance that provides women free abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilizations, including DMPA. Why offer free drugs that damage women’s health, but not free life-saving drugs?” she asked. “That’s the perfect definition of a war on women.”



“Cancer groups should have implemented a nationwide awareness campaign about the DMPA-breast cancer link, but it’s no surprise they didn’t,” Malec continued. “They’ve lied to women about the risks of abortion, oral contraceptives and combined hormone replacement therapy for decades. They still haven’t reported that two studies since 2009 strongly linked oral contraceptive use with the deadly triple-negative breast cancer.”

Citation:  Li C, Beaber E, Tang M, Porter P, Daling J, Malone K. Effect of depo-medroxyprogesterone acetate on breast cancer risk among women 20 to 44 years of age. Cancer Research 2012;72(8):2028-2035.