Ovarian cancer protection through contraception

Does the contraceptive patch or vaginal ring provide protection from ovarian cancer as oral contraceptives (OCs) do? Similarly, do low-dose OCs offer the same level of protection against ovarian cancer as the higher-dose (35-µg) pills?—BEV KIMBALL, PA-C, Webster, Wisc.

Estrogen's protective effect against ovarian cancer is well-known—the higher the dose and the longer the duration of use, the greater the protection. However, estrogen use also carries a higher risk of negative effects, including thrombosis, MI, and stroke. The contraceptive patch and vaginal ring are believed to carry the same protective factor, but definitive data are lacking.—Claire Babcock O'Connell, MPH, PA-C (133-10)

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