Research Article

Breast cancer and oral contraceptives: findings in Oxford-Family Planning Association contraceptive study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981; 282 doi: (Published 27 June 1981) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981;282:2093
  1. M P Vessey,
  2. K McPherson,
  3. R Doll


    Among the 17 032 women taking part in the Oxford-Family Planning Association contraceptive study, 72 were first diagnosed as having breast cancer between the date they were admitted to the study and 1 September 1980. The relative risk of developing the disease in women who had used oral contraceptives in comparison with those who had never used them was estimated to be 0.96 (95% confidence limits 0.59 to 1.63). Among women aged under 35 years, the corresponding relative risk (based on only 14 women with breast cancer) was estimated to be 0.61. No relation was apparent between the risk of developing breast cancer and duration of oral-contraceptive use or interval since first oral-contraceptive use in any age group. The data in this study are thus reassuring; but observations based on women with long-term use of oral contraceptives, especially those starting to use the preparations at an early age, are few.