What is the effect of oral contraceptive use combined with other risk factors on a women's risk for breast cancer?

Updated: Dec 26, 2019
  • Author: Graham A Colditz, MD, DrPH; Chief Editor: Chandandeep Nagi, MD  more...
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Interactions of oral contraceptive use with other breast cancer risk factors have been evaluated in many studies. However, limited statistical power in these analyses have resulted in wide confidence limits and, thus, a limited ability to detect true differences. Also, in many studies, the categorization of oral contraceptives was generally "ever versus never" use, a crude and uninformative definition. Possible interactions with other breast cancer risk factors were evaluated in detail for the first time in the collaborative pooling project, with oral contraceptive use defined in terms of recency and age at first use. The relationship between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer did not vary appreciably by family history of breast cancer, weight, alcohol intake, or other breast cancer risk factors.

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