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January 10, 1977

Medical News

JAMA. 1977;237(2):107-113. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270290007001

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The Pill not always the culprit in liver tumors, says pathologist  It is important to remember that not all liver tumors in women can be linked to the use of oral contraceptives, a Texas pathologist says.Robert E. Fechner, MD, professor of pathology at Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital, Houston, believes that reports of an "epidemic" of liver tumors are exaggerated—partly due to "an artificial selection" process and partly because of inadequate identification of the lesions.Correct identification, he says, is extremely important because the lseions—liver cell adenoma and focal nodular hyperplasia—are so different in prognosis and treatment. Liver cell adenoma (which appears to be associated with use of the Pill) often causes hemorrhage and should be excised. The hyperplasia, on the other hand, "can safely be left in the patient in many cases, though for safety's sake she should stop taking oral contraceptives."Dr Fechner