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Minerva Ginecologica 2006 June;58(3):209-14

language: Italian

Oral contraceptives and cancer

La Vecchia C.

1 Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milano
2 Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano


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Oral contraceptives (OC) convey a protection against ovarian, endometrial and perhaps colorectal cancer. However, OC use is associated with excess risk of breast (current or recent use only), cervical and liver cancer. Benefits and risks of OC use on cancer were reviewed in 2005 by a Working Group at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which concluded that combined OCs are carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for hepatocellular carcinoma, cervical and (for current use only) breast cancers. The Working Group also concluded that there is conclusive evidence that OCs have a protective effect against cancers of the ovary and endometrium.

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