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Clinical Oncology/Epidemiology

Risk factors for adenocarcinoma of the cervix: a case-control study


To assess risk factors for cervical adenocarcinoma data were collected in a case-control study of 39 cases and 409 controls conducted in the greater Milan area. Questions were asked about personal characteristics and habits, gynaecologic and obstetric data, history of lifetime use of oral contraceptives and other female hormones, and general indicators of sexual habits (age at first intercourse and total number of sexual partners). The relative risk of cervical adenocarcinoma increased with number of births and abortions, early age at first birth and early age at first intercourse. These estimates did not materially change after adjustment for the potential reciprocal confounding effect. Further, there was a positive association with overweight, but an apparent association with lower education was not significant. No relationship emerged with oral contraceptive use. Thus, despite the similarities with the epidemiology of squamous cell cancer, reproductive patterns and other factors related to the risk of endometrial cancer (i.e., overweight) seem to play an important role in the risk of adenocarcinoma of cervix uteri.

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Parazzini, F., La Vecchia, C., Negri, E. et al. Risk factors for adenocarcinoma of the cervix: a case-control study. Br J Cancer 57, 201–204 (1988).

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