The association between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk was examined using data from a case-control study of breast cancer in Long Island, New York. Cases were defined as female residents of Nassau and Suffolk Counties between the ages of 20 and 79, diagnosed with breast cancer between January 1, 1984 and December 31, 1986. Age- and county-matched controls were selected from driver's license files. Among all women under age 70 at diagnosis, there was no association between oral contraceptive use and breast cancer; there was, however, a positive association in the subgroup ages 20-49 (adjusted odds ratio = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.16-2.42). Risk increased with increasing duration of use, but did not differ between women who first used oral contraceptives before the first pregnancy and those who first used them later, or between women who first used oral contraceptives before age 25 and those who first used them at a later age. Risk also appeared to increase with number of years of use before the first pregnancy or before age 25, although numbers were small. History of benign breast disease did not influence risk. The association of breast cancer risk with oral contraceptive use appeared stronger in women from Suffolk County than Nassau County.