Advertisement

What's the connection between diethylstilbestrol (DES) and cancer?

Gustavo Rodriguez, MD
Gynecologic Oncology
The link between DES and cancer was mainly an association with the upper vagina and cervix. Researchers are not aware of a link with ovarian and endometrial cancer. For upper vagina and cervical cancer, the risk was one per 1,000 women exposed in the womb to the hormone. It was not some huge percentage. Doctors haven’t seen a second wave of these cancers, so right now there’s no reason to believe that exposures will cause cancers later in life.

But DES has not been used in pregnancy since the 1970s. In years to come, this is going to be less and less of an issue.

Continue Learning about Cancer Causes & Risk Factors

How Your Diet Affects Your Risk for Cancer
How Your Diet Affects Your Risk for Cancer
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide—and while survival rates are on the rise, many cases of the disease are preventable. In fact, in the Unit...
Read More
What is apoptosis?
Discovery HealthDiscovery Health
Apoptosis is the death of a cell. This process, also called cell suicide, is triggered when a cell s...
More Answers
How can I reduce my risk of cancer?
Int'l Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)Int'l Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, weight m...
More Answers
Where Are We on the War on Cancer?
Where Are We on the War on Cancer?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.