“Most of the cases that occurred in this analysis occurred among women who were using oral contraceptives in their 40s,” Hunter adds.
Any additional risk of breast cancer, he says, should be weighed against the clear benefits of hormonal contraception — benefits that go beyond the obvious advantages of preventing unwanted pregnancy.
“There’s very good evidence,” Hunter says, “that oral contraceptives reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. They reduce the risk of endometrial cancer. And there’s a strong suggestion they also reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. So, many calculations suggest that the use of oral contraceptives actually prevents more cancers than it causes.”