NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Ovarian Cancer Protection From Hormone

March 5, 2001

The protection birth control pills help give against ovarian cancer might not come from their disruption of ovulation, as previously assumed, but from the direct action of the hormone progestin in the pills, researchers said Sunday.

According to studies released at the meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists:

  • Ovarian cancer is the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths among women.
  • Previous research found use of oral contraceptives for as little as three years can decrease ovarian cancer risk by as much as half

The finding could lead to better ways to fight ovarian cancer.

Source: "Cancer protection of 'the pill' examined, USA Today, March 5, 2001; Joellen M Schildkraut et al., "The Impact of Progestin Potency in Oral Contraceptives on the Risk of Ovarian Cancer," 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, March 4, 2001.


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