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January 22, 1982

Endometrial Cancer, Epidemiology, and Medical Practice

JAMA. 1982;247(4):496. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320290042030

The article by Hulka et al (p 475) in this issue of The JOURNAL suggests a halving of the relative risk of endometrial cancer in women, on reaching an average age of 50 years, who were taking a combination birth control pill at the time of the study. This is consonant with other reports that suggest a beneficial effect of progestins in moderating cancer risk from exogenous or endogenous estrogens. It is important to point out what the health care implications of such an observation might be for women in this age group.

The data from this case-control study indicate what the relative benefit might be in reduction of endometrial cancer, but do not reveal the number of subjects at risk for such malignancy or the risk of oral contraceptive (OC) use that can be derived from a different type of epidemiological survey. The incidence of endometrial cancer in women