A synthetic form of the hormone estrogen that was prescribed to pregnant women between about 1940 and 1971 because it was thought to prevent miscarriages. DES may increase the risk of uterine, ovarian, or breast cancer in women who took it. It also has been linked to an increased risk of clear cell carcinoma of the vagina or cervix in daughters exposed to DES before birth. Also called diethylstilbestrol.
Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer TermsDate last modified: 2008-11-14