by Hilary White

OTTAWA, March 17, 2006 ( – Maurice Vellacott, MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, upbraided the Canadian Cancer Society for withholding information about the link between hormonal contraception and cancer. Vellacott said, “If the Canadian Cancer Society is not telling Canadians the truth about the birth control pill’s link to breast cancer, what else is the Canadian Cancer Society withholding?”

In 2003, Oxford University researchers found a link between the pill and cervical cancer.
  Researchers from Cancer Research UK’s epidemiology unit in Oxford reviewed 28 studies and found that the longer a woman took the pill, the greater her risk of developing cervical cancer. They found a 10% increased risk for women taking the pill for 5 years or less, 60% for 5 to 9 years’ use, and 100% greater risk (i.e. double the risk of a non-pill-using woman) if they had taken it for at least 10 years.

Vellacott’s comments came in an interview with the CBC’s Wendy Mesley’s documentary, “Chasing the Cancer Answer” which aired recently on CBC’s Marketplace.

The program also quotes Pathologist Dr. Samuel Epstein, a professor at the University of Chicago and author of the book, Cancer-Gate: How to win the losing cancer war. Epstein also criticized the Canadian Cancer Society saying Canada is in a “cancer epidemic.”

Epstein said, “The pill is the largest unregulated human trial that’s ever been conducted.”

In July 2005 The World Health Organization said that the birth control pill is carcinogenic and is associated with increases in cervical, liver and breast cancer.

“In the interests of women, I hope the Canadian Cancer Society will also take a look at another risk factor for breast cancer, and a preventable one at that,” Vellacott said. “Induced abortion.”

The hormonal birth control pill has also been associated in some studies with prostate cancer in the male children of women who take it. Scientists at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri found that estrogen-like hormones deform the prostates in developing embryos, which can be a precursor to developing prostate cancer or bladder problems.

Vellacott said, “Why will the Canadian Cancer Society not take an objective look at what the research says about the link between abortion and breast cancer if they’re serious about prevention?”

Dr. Epstein accused the cancer establishment of “damage control” (screening, diagnosis, treatment) rather than prevention.

Read related coverage:
  Contraceptive Pill Linked to Cervical Cancer

Birth Control Pill May Cause Prostate Cancer and Bladder Disease in Mothers’ Children

Contact Canadian Cancer Society:
  Canadian Cancer Society
  National Office
  Suite 200, 10 Alcorn Avenue
  Toronto, OntarioÂÂÂ M4V 3B1
  Phone: (416) 961-7223
  Fax: (416) 961-4189
  General e-mail: [email protected]