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Birth control pills may raise breast cancer risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Women who rely on contraceptives pills, including newer types of birth control pills, as well as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants — may slightly increase women’s risk of breast cancer, according to a new study from Denmark.

The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine takes a look at the lower dose contraceptives, and finds some good, and not-so-good news.

The study, which included about 1.8 million women aged between 15 and 49 years of age for more than 10 yearsin Denmark, found that those who used hormonal birth control methods were 20 percent more likely to develop breast cancer over an 11-year period, compared with those who never used hormonal birth control.

Many women have believed that newer hormonal contraceptives are much safer than those taken by their mothers or grandmothers, which had higher doses of estrogen.

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark said the risk of breast cancer was higher among women who recently used contemporary hormonal contraceptives than among women who had never used hormonal contraceptives. However, absolute increases in risk were small.

After discontinuation of hormonal contraception, the risk of breast cancer was still higher among the women who had used hormonal contraceptives for five years or more than among women who had not used hormonal contraceptives.

Women who currently or recently used the progestin-only intrauterine system also had a higher risk of breast cancer than women who had never used hormonal contraceptives.

The overall absolute increase in breast cancers diagnosed among current and recent users of any hormonal contraceptive was 13 per 100,000 persons, or about one extra breast cancer for every 7,690 women using hormonal contraception for one year.

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Demand for legalizing same-sex marriage

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KATHMANDU- Stakeholders concerned have demanded a law related to same-sex marriage in the context when the Nepal’s constitution and laws have accepted the concept of marital equality.

At an interaction program held with media about the issue of gender identity and sexual orientation by an organization named Yubalaya here Sunday, the demand came as a prompt need of the time by the people concerned.

The complaint of homosexuals was that they were deprived of marriage by choice in the absence of the legalization of same-sex marriage which according to them is the deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Blue Diamond Society Program Officer Anuj Peter said though the constitution has promised to make special provisions for protection, empowerment or development of gender and sexual minorities, such vows are yet to be executed in practice.

Peter, who identifies himself as a homosexual, shares that he has been legally denied to marry a man of his choice.

Yubalaya Chair Sabin Singh highlighted the need of support from media and civil society to address the issue of gender identity and sexual minorities regarding same-sex marriage law.

The participants of the program put their queries about marital equality, broader sexual education and safe abortion.

As told by the Society, to date, 30 countries across the world have legalized same-sex marriage and endorsed a law towards that end and the Netherlands was the first country to legalize it in the end of 2000.

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