This week we will explore current events related to epidemiology. You will present a scientific article to the class. Please focus on interpreting the research question, methodology, results, and conclusions from a sample of peer-reviewed scientific literature. Please be sure the article is related to epidemiology, summarizing its contents for the class, and providing a succinct written summary. Current events must have been published within the last six months. Written summaries should include:
- State the objectives of the study
- Summarize the study design and findings
- Provide a reference of the article
- Provide your opinion on how the “average” reader will respond to the article. Will the article influence decision making or thinking? Does the article leave out any important information?
The New England Journal of Medicine published a large study showing that there is a small but significant risk of breast cancer associated with regular use of hormonal birth control pills. The study involved 1.8 million women in Denmark between the ages of 15 and 49 who were followed for about 11 years. Results showed that 11,517 cases of breast cancer occurred (Morch, Skovlund, Hannaford, Iversen, Fielding, & Lidegaard, 2017). “For every 10,000 women, 13 cases of breast cancers were reported with the use of birth control pills. For every 100,000 women using birth control pills, there were 68 new cases of diagnosed breast cancer each year compared to 55 new cases of breast cancer among women who were not using birth control pills” (Mandel, 2017). Current users of hormonal contraceptives were associated with a 20% increased risk of breast cancer. Women who used contraceptives less than a year showed a 9% increased risk, and women who used contraceptives greater than 10 years showed a 38% increased risk (Mandel, 2017). There was noted a rapid disappearance of breast cancer risks after the discontinuation of hormonal contraceptives short-term use (Morch, Skovlund, Hannaford, Iversen, Fielding, & Lidegaard, 2017).
After reading this article, I believe it is a significant public health concern. About 140 million women used hormonal contraception worldwide (Do hormonal contraceptives increase breast cancer risk?, 2017). Like other contraceptives, birth control releases hormones. I think it is important to weigh out the risks and benefits. Oral contraceptives may benefit women with dysmenorrhea, menorrhagia, and has shown to reduce the risks of ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal cancers (Hunter, 2017). I think women should explore the risks and benefits to help decide which treatment is best for them because no type of hormone contraceptive is risk free.