Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ron J. Stauble Sr.’s letter “Birth Control Dangerous and Misleading” was misleading in itself.
In discussing cancers linked to oral contraceptive use, Stauble uses the word “cause,” whereas the correct term, as explained by the National Cancer Institute, is “risk.”
The National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk) reports that use of oral contraceptives appears to slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. After discontinuing oral contraceptive use, the risk level goes back to normal after about 10 years.
An increased risk of cervical cancer may be because sexually active women have a higher risk of becoming infected with human papillomavirus, which causes virtually all cervical cancers.
The NCI also says women who use oral contraceptives have reduced risks of ovarian and endometrial cancer.
So Stauble would be more accurate if he said the risk of breast and cervical cancer increases slightly with oral contraceptive use.
But it’s also negligent of him not to acknowledge that there is a reduced risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers.
Because both my mother and grandmother had endometrial cancer, I am at greater risk of having the disease than taking oral contraceptives could reduce.
What Stauble doesn’t seem to understand is that weighing the risks and having options to reduce the risk is the whole reason to allow contraceptives.
President Barack Obama is not telling people to take contraceptives; he is allowing us the freedom to have a choice. I’ll go talk to my doctor, not a politician.
Caroline M. Mathes