BC Pills Cause Tumor Growth?

Hey Doc,

I am wondering if birth control can cause tumor growth. My 16-year-old niece had a schwannoma tumor removed two years ago. There was a small piece left connected to spine. they monitor it and no growth until recently. Found out she had started taking birth control pills and wondering if this could have caused it.

Julie

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Dear Julie,

An interesting question. BC pills are known to increase certain brain tumors such as gliomas.
Schwann cells produce myelin which is how nerves communicate. Progesterone is the strongest stimulant to the production of myelin, so needless to say Schwann cells have an increase in progesterone receptor sites. Is it possible that progesterone exerts a protective effect? Who knows? When a woman is on BC pills, she stops ovulating. She also stops producing progesterone at this time, which may stimulate the growth of these tumors.
I suspect that there is a connection between these tumors and BC pills. It might be interesting to see if progesterone cream would shrink it.
Michael E. Platt, md

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  • I’ve been using your progesterone cream for a few days now (after hearing you on Bulletproof Radio) and the biggest thing I’ve noticed is I’m sleeping better, and waking an hour earlier. I have a couple questions:
    When I put the cream on the insides of my arms, my arms have a dull ache for a couple hours. I’m only using one pump, should I use less?
    When I went to the doctor today my blood pressure was significantly lower than it usually is (its usually normal, but it was 112/68 today – typically 120/80). Is that from the cream?!

    K.Stevens on

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