Common birth control method can double your risk of breast cancer—but broccoli can help!

I've always been a little terrified of shots, which is why I never received the birth control shot when it became available to me. Although I liked the idea of not having to take a little pill every single day and it would have been nice to be able to just subject myself to a once-every-three-months shot instead, I could never go through with it. However, a new study has found that women who used the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera for at least a year had double the chance of developing breast cancer at a young age.

Are women subjecting themselves to more harm than good by using this type of birth control?


Read more ¿Qué más? Can breast cancer ever be diagnosed too early? New study says yes.

Studies are still inconclusive because the risk seems to stop almost as soon as you get off Depoprovera, but, there is some good news on the horizon: if you eat more Bok choy and broccoli, you may have a higher chance of surviving cancer, according to another new study which saw that Chinese women who ate vegetables after being diagnosed with breast cancer had a better chance of surviving. One of the study authors explains the findings:

Breast cancer survivors can follow the general nutritional guidelines of eating vegetables daily and may consider increasing intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as greens, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, as part of a healthy diet. Commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables in China include turnips, Chinese cabbage/bok choy and greens, while broccoli and brussels sprouts are the more commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables in the United States and other Western countries. Second, the amount of intake among Chinese women is much higher than that of US women.

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Meanwhile, a third study to come out recently about women and cancer determined that taller women have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. For every additional 5 centimeters (or about 2 inches) of height on a woman, she gets a slight increase in the risk of getting ovarian cancer. I have never been so glad to be short!

Maybe it's because of the fact that I'm only 5'2" that the scariest news here was about the Depo-Provera shot doubling the risk of breast cancer in young women. As a young woman myself, this is terrifying news. Although I never got the shot, I know that friends of mine have and I'm worried for them. The good news is that the risk decreases a few months after you stop getting the injection. And in the meantime, I'll encourage them—and myself—to start eating more broccoli.

Have you ever taken the Depo-Provera shot? Are you planning to stop after this news?

Image via VCU NCS/flickr