Several observations suggest that salivary gland cancer may be, in part, a hormonally dependent disease. We examined associations between hormonally mediated life events and salivary gland cancer risk in a population-based case-control study. Of 76 women diagnosed between 1989 and 1993, 63 (83%) were interviewed. Of 111 population controls, 83 (75%) were interviewed. Early menarche (OR = 4.1, 95% CI = 1.4-12.1) and nulliparity (OR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.0-6.7) were associated with increased risk whereas late age at first full-term pregnancy (OR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.3-1.2) and longer duration of oral contraceptive use (OR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.10-1.0) were associated with diminished risk. These findings are consistent with a hormonal component in salivary gland cancer risk.