Mechanisms of Prevention of Ovarian Cancer by Oral Contraceptives
Use of oral contraceptives (OCs) reduces a woman's risk of ovarian cancer very significantly
and the protective effect continues for at least 25 years after use of OCs is stopped; the
mechanisms of how this occurs are not understood. We are proposing here to directly study
the effect of OCs on the fallopian tube and inclusion cysts within the ovary - sites from
which most ovarian cancers are thought to arise - in order to better understand the
mechanistic basis for OC protection against ovarian cancer. We think the protection results
from reduced cell proliferation. It will lay the foundation for further studies to ensure
that the protection against ovarian cancer afforded by 'traditional' OCs is not lost with
alterations in OC formulation, and, if possible, to guide development of OC formations to
improve further on the protection afforded by OCs.
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