Long-term Use of Oral Contraceptives Protects Against Deadliest Forms of Ovarian Cancer, Large Study Finds

Long-term Use of Oral Contraceptives Protects Against Deadliest Forms of Ovarian Cancer, Large Study Finds
Long-term use of oral contraceptives protects women from the most lethal types of ovarian cancers, a large multi-center study has found. The study, “Oral contraceptive use and risk of highly fatal ovarian cancer: Evidence from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium,” was recently presented at the 2019 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting, held March 29 to April 3, in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior studies have shown that use of oral contraceptives (i.e. birth control) is associated with a decrease in the risk of ovarian cancer. However, it is unknown whether oral contraceptives play a role in preventing aggressive and fatal ovarian cancers. To investigate this, researchers at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Buffalo used data from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium (OCAC) to evaluate the association between the pre-diagnostic use of oral contraceptives and the development of highly fatal ovarian cancer, which is defined as death within 12 to 18 months of diagnosis. Researchers evaluated data from 20 case-control studies that participated in the OCAC, which included 579 women who died within 12 months of their diagnosis and 1,294 patients who died within 18 months of diagnosis. The patients in the 12-month cohort were matched to 2,279 healthy controls, and patients in the 18-month cohort were matched to 5,095 controls. Results indicated that, even after adjusting for age, site of cancer, and parity (number o
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