Health & Fitness: New Perils of the Pill?

Reports of a link to breast cancer stir confusion and fear

When oral contraceptives were introduced in 1960, women embraced them as a dream drug: an easy, reliable and safe way to prevent pregnancy. But fears spread in the 1970s, after researchers found that users of the Pill, particularly smokers, were somewhat more vulnerable than other women to heart attacks and strokes. In the '80s the Pill became attractive again after scientists showed that it helps protect against ovarian and endometrial cancer.

Now women are confused -- even panicked -- once more, this time by reports suggesting that the use of birth-control pills increases the risk of breast cancer. After newspaper and...

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