Oral contraceptives, consisting of estrogen and progestogen, possess both cancer-causing and cancer preventive properties. As oral contraceptives are used by healthy individuals any decision to use these drugs should be based on a thorough evaluation of the risk profile of the individual patient. Use of oral contraceptives is associated with a small excess risk of cancers of the breast, cervix, and liver; however, the use of these drugs also protects against endometrial and ovarian cancer. Therefore, from a cancer perspective, no clear recommendation can be given.