The Pill Shouldn't Be Blamed for Prostate Cancer

birth control pillsEvery so often a study comes out showing how certain birth control pills are bad news for us ladies. Depending on your own hormonal "baseline" and lifestyle, some forms can lead to gallstones, blood clots/strokes, totally MIA libido, etc. You'd think it couldn't get any worse. Well, it just did! New research has come out stating that the pill is contributing to higher rates of prostate cancer in men. Agh! WTH!?

The researchers say it has to do with the pill's form of estrogen, ethinyl estradiol, which women taking the drug release as an xenoestrogen (AKA Frankenstein version of estrogen) through our, uh, waste. In turn, the phony estrogen ends up in our water and food supply. Eeeugh. Totally disturbing news, but at the same time ... the solution here has nothing to do with women taking little pink pills. 

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Actually, my first instinct is that maybe this is a blessing in disguise. See, it usually falls to us ladies to freak out about PCB, bisphenol A (BPA), and phthalates. We try to keep them out of our kids' food, canned goods, shower curtains, toothpastes, etc. But clearly, if there's anything we can all learn from research like this, it's that it is just as important for men to realize how dangerous these phony, lab-created hormones in the environment are. Obviously, they're affecting them, as well.

It bears noting, too, that this isn't the first study to show how "Franken-hormones" lead to prostate cancer in men. There's a whole body of research dedicated to that, and in recent years, researchers have pointed the finger quite often at BPA for ratcheting up rates of the disease. So, clearly, the pill is just part of the greater problem; it's definitely not the only thing contributing to this trend.

As far as I'm concerned, the best thing we can do is to refuse to buy products made with chemicals or compounds that are xenoestrogens. Petition the government to care and enforce regulations about these nasty things. Do our best to get the hormone disruptors out there that we can control wiped out, because putting an end to the pill isn't a realistic or desirable solution.

Does this study freak you out?

 

Image via Nate Grigg/Flickr

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