The effects and site(s) of action of progesterone on DMBA mammary carcinogenesis in the rat, when a small dose of the carcinogen was applied directly to the inguinal mammary gland, were investigated. No reduction in tumour yield was apparent when progesterone was administered s.c. for 18 days before dusting DMBA. This finding contrasts with a previously reported inhibitory effect on carcinogenesis when hormone treatment was followed by intragastric administration of DMBA. When progesterone injections were begun either 2 days before or 2 days after direct application of DMBA, and were continued until the end of the experiment (135 or 195 days) an enhancement in carcinogenesis was observed similar to that previously demonstrated after gastric intubation of DMBA. These findings, together with previously reported observations, suggest that progesterone may exert its inhibitory effect on carcinogenesis by acting at a site outside the breast, perhaps on the liver. However, it is likely that the hormone acts directly on the mammary tissue to exert its enhancing effect on tumorigenesis.