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Women who had used oral contraceptives, particularly long-term users, were found to have higher rates of malignant melanoma and of a past history of skin cancer than those who had never used oral contraceptives. This excess was confined to lesions of the lower limb. The association between oral contraceptive use and melanoma was noted in 3 separate sets of data, although it was statistically significant only in one. The possibility that this relationship is indirect because, for example, oral contraceptive users are more likely than never-users to be exposed to sunlight and thus to develop malignant melanoma, cannot be excluded.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





804 - 809


Adult, California, Contraceptives, Oral, Female, Humans, Melanoma, Middle Aged, Skin Neoplasms