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Breast Cancer and Birth Control: Women must read

Posted by CommunitarianKevin , 06 April 2012 · 754 views

On studies and statistics
This is a perfect article to point out some major things people do no realize. It has to do with scientific reasoning and statistics. Many people run with something they hear on the news. I will show you why you should not do this but rather sit down and think about it, even if you do not understand scientific reasoning. I will keep it real simple, so everyone should be able to follow.

This article is found here...

It is a study that ties a birth control shot to breast cancer risk. I know a lot of women worry about these two things...

Here are some of the main points of the article.

Recent use of the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera for at least a year was associated with a doubling of young women’s breast cancer risk, a new study has found.

The injectable birth control method is the only contraceptive in the United States that contains the same progestin, or synthetic hormone, as Prempro, the postmenopausal hormone therapy pill. A landmark government study called the Women’s Health Initiative found that Prempro, a combination of estrogen and progestin, increased women’s breast cancer risk by 24 percent, while Premarin, which contains only estrogen, did not increase risk.  

Data on the relationship between Depo-Provera and breast cancer risk are limited, the researchers write. Li and his coauthors say theirs is the first large-scale U.S. study specifically designed to evaluate the relationship. Results from similar studies conducted in other countries have been mixed, they write.

Li’s team recruited 1,028 women who’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and 919 women who had not. All the women were 20 to 44 years of age and lived in the Seattle area. About 3 percent had used Depo-Provera within the last five years.

Compared to women who had never used Depo-Provera, those who had received injections within the previous five years were 2.2 times more likely to have been diagnosed with breast cancer

Age is the main risk factor for breast cancer, so while a doubling of risk might sound alarming, Li emphasizes that the actual number of breast cancer cases in women in their 20s and 30s is very low
This is a key point that they admit.

women in their 30s have a 1 in 233 chance of being diagnosed with the disease.

So let’s break it down…

To start, all of the women used in the study were from the Seattle area. This is not a good representation of women in the U.S. or the world. But that is a minor issue.
The first thing to remember is percents. 100% means “doubled.”  This 100% means 2.0 times “more likely.” The word “doubled” instantly scares people but one must consider the other numbers around it. I will show you an example using 1,000 people. Let’s say 2 out of 1,000 people get a said disease. If they saw a 100% increase in the cases, this means the number doubled. If 2 is doubled, you get 4. That being said a 100% increase or 2.0 times “more likely,” we are now up to 4 out of 1,000. That is what we call highly insignificant. There is not much of a difference between 2 and 4 out of 1,000. As the article acknowledged,  “Li emphasizes that the actual number of breast cancer cases in women in their 20s and 30s is very low.” “Breast cancer among young women is still a rare disease.” women in their 30s have a 1 in 233 chance of being diagnosed with the disease. That is 4.29 women out of 1,000. Apply this to the doubling method above.

1947 women were used in the study. It said 3% had used Depo-Provera. That is 58 women in the entire study that use it. So they are comparing 58 women to about 1900 women. That is not even a fair comparison. If they wanted a fair comparison they would have used maybe 1,500 that used DP to 1,900 that did not.

In addition to that, they never tell us how many of the 58 women were diagnosed with cancer. All they tell us is that women who used DP were 2.2 times more likely to have been diagnosed with cancer. I explained above how “2 times more likely” worked. But that is even insignificant because they do not even give us the numbers to do the math. For all we know, out of the 58 women, only 1 may have been diagnosed. If we use their average for women in their 30’s, 1 in 233 has a chance of being diagnosed. If we apply their “2.2 times more likely” math, we now have 2.2 women out of every 233 that will be diagnosed.

Basically what I am saying is this study tells us nothing about anything, like most “studies” one will see in the news. Using a few of these points can help one understand what a “study” says before flying off the wall. I wonder how many women stopped using a perfectly safe product because of this “study…” My guess would be a lot…because they do not reason through it.

And many things on TV are a flat out lie. The shake weight for example...being a former (but still cerified) personal trainer, I can tell you the thing is total BS. They claim that a 6 or 7 minute workout with the Shake Weight will burn more calories than a 20 (I think they said, may have been 30) workout with dumbells. I'll call BS. Anyone that believes that has never done a 20 minute workout with dumbells weighing more than a couple pounds. Want something way more effective than a Shake Weight to "sculpt" you arms, shoulders, and chest? Try a push-up. The push-up is free and my advice was free. Your welcome.

Simbi Laveau
Apr 07 2012 09:35 AM
Thank you !  I always felt that the Depo shots could not be good for women.I think many fertility drugs are just as bad.
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Apr 07 2012 10:52 AM

Simbi Laveau, on 07 April 2012 - 04:35 AM, said:

Thank you !  I always felt that the Depo shots could not be good for women.I think many fertility drugs are just as bad.

Actually the point is they aren't really that bad, or rather we do not have enough evidence to make that decision...
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Simbi Laveau
Apr 07 2012 10:17 PM
They're not that bad,but they're not that good either .
I think anything that unnaturally stop a natural event ,with chemicals,probably isn't a good thing.
There are so many factors that affect breast cancer prevalence,they would all need to be taken into account,to truely get the full picture.

I know a couple of men who have had breast cancer,which I believe is on the rise,so it's not just hormones,but I think depo shots are just a bad idea.
You at least get your period if you're on the pill.

I was at a lecture at Sloan Kettering,and the doctor in charge of their herbal program said cancers have been linked to fertility drugs.
I think they're compiling data on it.
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