Dr. Oz Show: Will The Pill Prevent Cancer? 3/9/2012

Doctor Oz opens the show today talking about endometrial cancer and how birth control pills actually my prevent this cancer from forming. We see a diagram and what happens to a woman’s body during the monthly cycle. Birth Control pills have been proven to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by 50% if taken over the lifetime of women. It doesn’t matter when you start taking the pill to see the cancer reducing benefits. It can still provide protection later in life but there are risks.

Oz says studies show that there is a very minimal risk of developing breast cancer while taking the pill but that risk goes away when a woman stops using the pill. Oz says he is always cautious about any hormone therapy but before you decide to use them, you need to know the risks and the benefits. This is a subject that you need to discuss with your doctor so you will be able to make an informed decision before starting or continuing.

Traditional Birth Control pills prevent colon, uteral, and endometrial cancer. It is also good at controlling mood swings, acne, and many other common health problems. Doctors now say that taking the pill for 5 years during your lifetime can give a great benefit in preventing cancer. There is no danger in not having your menstrual cycle for 5 years. It also helps decrease bone loss in women over 40 to lower the risk of osteoporosis. Medicated IUD’s do help prevent uteran cancer and have benefits also but have not been shown to prevent ovarian cancer. Smokers and people who have a history of blood clots are not recommended to take the pill.

Side effects of taking the pill are spotting, mood swings, breast tenderness, lower sex drive, and mood swings are some side effects of the pill. This can be controlled by trying the many different types of birth control pills. Oz says the bottom line is that if you are between 35 and 50 and you are having pre menopause symptoms then it may be worth going on the pill again.

Oz now talks about food labels and how supposedly healthy foods can sabotage your diet. Manufacturers use healthy catch phrases to get you to buy their products. Lightly Sweetened is one phrase and Oz says it is a term not regulated by the FDA and can mean almost anything. He says we need to look for products that say no added sugar. Next is “High in Fiber” and “A good source of fiber” are phrases that can be misleading. Oz says we need to look for natural foods like whole grains to get our fiber. Oz says we need the right fiber and these products might be adding fiber that is not beneficial. Products that say “made with real fruit” doesn’t necessarily mean there is fruit in them. It could be fruit extracts and Oz says we need to get our fruit in the produce section of our grocery store. He also says we don’t know how much fruit is used in them and if it is the fruit we think we are buying. “Made with whole grains” doesn’t mean they are full of grains. You need to look for “100%” on the label for the grains you want. If it doesn’t say 100% then you might not be getting as much grain as you think.

Photo courtesy of: Dr. Oz