It's in the news again that women taking hormone replacement therapy are at higher risk for breast cancer. Of course most readers of L & C already knew this. But what the media almost always refuses to talk about is that the effect of hormonal birth control is known to be even greater. Used as birth control, not only do we have the same direct effect of these hormones on breast tissue, but there is the even greater carcinogenic effect of decreased procreation and breast feeding.
Delaying starting a family, and reducing the number of children one bears and nurses, may be the greatest factors in the modern epidemic of female cancers. Breast cancer was known as "nuns disease" prior to the age of family planning (about 1964 forward). Each five-year increase in a woman's age at her first full-term pregnancy raises her breast cancer risk by 7%. There is also a 7% reduction in breast cancer risk for each child a women bears to full term. And for every year of her life spent breastfeeding, a woman's risk breast cancer drops by 4.3%.
Moral of the story for young ladies: Marry early and have lots of kids! Who would have thought of it? ...uhhhh, God: "Be fruitful and multiply!" Children are a blessing in more ways than one. Just calculate the benefits my wife has gained thus far just from carrying six children to full term and nursing them all on average for 1-2 years.
I should take this opportunity to point out, however, that there is no way of achieving 100% protection against any cancer. Following God's will does not make one immune to the effects of living in a fallen world. More importantly, we must also remember that cancer is NOT a punishment for those who have not tried to follow God's will or not succeeded in the attempt.
There are temporal consequences to the way we live our lives, but Christ took ALL our punishment upon himself. Original sin brought disease, suffering, and death into this world, and it won't end until Christ comes again at the Resurrection of all flesh (come Lord Jesus, come!). But suffering is NOT a punishment from God for our personal ("actual") sins.
God has absolutely NO punishment left to offer. All our guilt was placed on Christ, 100% of the punishment was suffered by Him on the cross, and all our sins were left buried in the grave when he rose! Praise be to Christ!