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The key ingredient in a controversial medicine used to prevent premature births is associated with a higher risk of cancer in people that were exposed to the treatment in utero, according to a new study.

Specifically, those exposed to 17-OHPC had nearly double the risk of any cancer compared to those not exposed, although the risk appeared to vary depending on the cancer. For instance, children exposed to 17-OHPC had more than 34 times greater risk of brain cancer, and as adults had more than five times greater risk of colorectal and prostate cancers.

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