IUDs may up breast cancer risk

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The levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, is primarily used as a form of birth control, but also to treat women with menorrhagia (unusually heavy or prolonged menstrual flow) or endometriosis. A recent study may have now linked this IUD to an increased chance of developing breast cancer.  

Researchers at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the Hyvinkää Hospital in Hyvinkää, Finland, sought to examine the association between premenopausal use of the LNG-IUS and cancer risk. They examine data from over 93,000 women in Finald who had used the LNG-IUS to treat their menorrhagia (at the time of the study, the LNG-IUS was used in Finland primarily for menorrhagia treatment rather than birth control). The women ranged in age from 30 to 49 years. The breast cancer rate for the group using the system for menorrhagia control was approximately 19% higher than the breast cancer rate for the general population. No increase in uterine cancer or ovarian, pancreatic, or lung cancers was seen with IUD use. Other factors, beyond the IUD use, could also be at play, especially factors related to the menorrhagia, so a direct link between IUD use and cancer will need to be proven by additional research.

Lead study author, Dr. Tuuli Soini, has stated that this was the first study linking breast cancer to IUD usage.

IUDs may up breast cancer risk
IUDs may up breast cancer risk
(CNN) -- Modern contraceptives have radically changed women's lives, but they are not risk free. A new study out of the journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology finds the levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS) or progesterone-releasing IUD, may be associated with a higher than expected incidence of breast cancer.
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