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Lancet. 1986 Sep 20;2(8508):650-4.

Oral contraceptive use and breast cancer in young women. A joint national case-control study in Sweden and Norway.


The possible association between oral contraceptive (OC) use and the risk of breast cancer developing before the age of 45 was investigated by means of a population based case-control study in Sweden and Norway. Information was obtained by personal interview from 422 (89.2%) of all eligible patients with a newly diagnosed breast cancer from May, 1984, to May, 1985, and from 722 (80.6%) of all contacted age-matched controls. A multivariate analysis, which accounted for several possible confounding factors, revealed a significant (p = 0.03) association between total duration of OC use and breast cancer risk. The relative risk (RR) of breast cancer after 12 or more years of OC use was 2.2 (1.2-4.0). OC use for more than 7 years before first full-term pregnancy entailed an increased breast cancer risk (RR = 2.0 [1.0-4.2]) which was of borderline significance. When total duration of use was considered, the risk of breast cancer was virtually unrelated to age at first OC use and latency from first use. The results suggest that long-term use of OCs may increase the risk of breast cancer in young women.

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