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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2000 Jun;7(2):73-83.

Hormonal contraception and chemoprevention of female cancers.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Medicine, University of Southern California/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90033-0800, USA.


Oral contraceptive (OC) use significantly reduces the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, has only a minimal effect on breast cancer, but may increase the risk of cervical cancer. These effects can be readily explained in terms of the effects of OCs on cell proliferation in these tissues. This analysis suggests how a hormonal contraceptive based on a GnRH agonist plus low-dose add-back sex steroids could be made that would greatly reduce lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Such a hormonal contraceptive is also likely to significantly reduce the lifetime risk of cervical cancer. It is also likely to reduce the risk of endometrial cancer, although not to the same extent as OCs.

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