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Liver tumors and oral contraceptives.

Liver Tumors and Oral Contraceptives

A large survey of 477 hospitals was conducted to determine the number of primary benign and malignant tumors found in males and females between the ages of 15 and 45 years. The survey covered the years 1970 to 1975. The major objective was to determine whether women taking oral contraceptives were at greater risk for the development of liver tumors.

A total of 543 primary liver tumors were reported, with 378 occuring in females and 165 in males. Tumors were malignant in 91.5 percent of the males. In females, a higher percentage (56.1 percent) of benign tumors was found.

Sixty-five percent of the females with benign liver tumors had taken oral contraceptives. In women who did not use oral contraceptives, tumors were almost equally divided between benign and malignant.

The peak frequency of benign liver tumors occurred in patients 26 to 30 years of age, which would correspond to the time when oral contraceptives are most frequently used.

The most frequent benign tumors in users of oral contraceptives were hepatic cell adenomas and focal nodular hyperplasia. In nonusers, histologic types were almost equally divided among hepatic cell adenomas, focal nodular hyperplasia, hamartomas and other benign tumors.

These data suggest an association between oral contraceptives and liver tumors.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1989
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