SACRAMENTO (CBS)– A new study links birth control to breast cancer.

Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study revealed women who use hormonal contraceptives had an increased risk of breast cancer.

The study followed nearly 2 million Danish women for more than a decade.

Experts say the findings are a concern, but more research still needs to be done to fully understand the link.

Birth control pills or contraceptive devices can slightly increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer by about 20 percent, according to the medical study.

“Does mean we need more information about the long-term risks of hormonal birth control for breast cancer, but it shouldn’t cause a major panic,” said Dr. Carla Eeisman, OB/GYN at Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Weisman says the study should not discourage women from using hormonal contraceptives and they need to also understand the benefits.

“Reduce menstrual flow, regulate menstrual cycle, improve cramps, lowering risk of ovarian cancer, potentially colon cancer and other cancers as well,” she said.

Before women make a decision about birth control, experts say the best advice is to talk to their doctor.

“They can have an individualized discussion about their risks, their concerns, and what the best method of birth control is going to for them whether that is with hormones or without,” Dr. Weisman said.

 

Read more on CBS Baltimore.

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