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There is increasing concern that contraceptive pill usage may increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. As primary malignant liver cancer is very rare in this country, any effect due to oral contraceptives should be apparent in national mortality statistics. An analysis of mortality rates over the last 24 years shows a small but consistent increase for young women starting to occur during the end of the last decade. However no such trend is apparent in data from other countries where pill usage is comparable to that in the U.K. Overall liver cancer remains an extremely uncommon cause of death in developed countries, but it will be particularly important to monitor trends in this disease in the future.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





349 - 354


Adult, Australia, Contraceptives, Oral, England, Female, Germany, West, Humans, Liver Neoplasms, Male, Middle Aged, Netherlands, United States, Wales