Tag Archives: Autism

Some Birth Control Pills May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Birth Control Pills
Birth Control Pills

A new study has linked certain types of birth control pills to a higher near-term risk of breast cancer, but the finding is unlikely to affect the majority of young American women.

“The study found no relationship between an increased cancer risk and the use of low-dose estrogen pills, which are currently the most commonly prescribed type of birth control pills in the U.S.,” according to a CBS News report.

High Risk Pills

The birth control pills implicated in the study are those containing moderate to high doses of estrogen. While birth control pills containing a moderate estrogen dose elevated breast cancer risk only slightly, high-estrogen medications nearly tripled breast cancer risk.

The two greatest offenders were triphasic combination pills containing norethindrone and birth control pills containing ethynodiol diacetate. If your birth control pills contain either of these ingredients, Issels Cancer Treatment Center staff urges you to talk to your doctor.

No Need to Panic

“Breast cancer is rare among young women, and there are numerous established health benefits associated with oral contraceptive use that must be considered,” study author Elisabeth Beaber of Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center told CBS News.

She recommended that women exercise caution in interpreting the study’s results, which are yet to be confirmed, and discuss their breast cancer risk with their physician. As CBS notes, some other studies have shown no appreciable link between birth control pills and increased breast cancer risk. Previous studies have shown that breast cancer risk declines when women discontinue birth control pills.

Like cancer risk, breast cancer treatment must be personalized to the unique needs of each individual. Visit our website for more information.

Researchers Find Unexpected Link Between Autism and Cancer

Mutated cancer or tumor genes.
Mutated cancer or tumor genes.

An unexpected link between autism and cancer has been discovered by researchers. While the cause of autism remains unknown in the majority of cases, mutated cancer or tumor genes appear to have caused the brain disorder in a small percentage of people. According to a New York Times review of the new findings:

  • 10% of children with mutations of the PTEN (P-10) gene have autism. PTEN has been linked to breast, thyroid, colon and other organ cancers.
  • 50% of children with the genetic disorder tuberous sclerosis have autism. Tuberous sclerosis has been linked to brain and kidney cancer and brain and organ tumors.

Researchers noted that while the risk is considerably higher than for the general population, not everyone with these genetic mutations will develop either autism or cancer. Yet for those with autism who do have one of these genetic mutations, the discovery opens the door to new avenues of research and potential discovery of a cure. In fact, a clinical trial is already underway to see if autistic children who carry the targeted genetic mutation will respond to a drug used to treat tumors that share that same genetic footprint.

Both cancer and autism involve unregulated cell growth and both genes being studied act to halt cell growth. Genetic manipulation of cell growth is proving to be a fertile field for cancer research and treatment. Issels integrated immunotherapy utilizes targeted cell therapies in our cancer vaccine program to target and manipulate the tumor microenvironment that triggers the progression or regression of cancer. For many of our patients, Issels cancer treatments have resulted in long-term cancer remission.