Some women who undergo In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) worry that the process may increase their risk of developing breast cancer. It’s estimated that over 8 million babies have been born worldwide as a result of IVF and other advanced fertility treatments since the first IVF birth in 1978. In the U.S., 1.5% of all births are the result of using artificial reproductive therapies, which is the highest percentage to date.
Fertility treatments usually involve exposure to high levels of hormones, which can be concerning in regards to the risk of breast cancer. However, a study published in the British Medical Journal showed that women are at no increased risk of developing invasive breast cancer after receiving IVF or other assisted reproductive therapies.
However, the study did indicate a small increased risk of DCIS (non-invasive in situ breast cancer), but the researchers concluded that these instances may not have been from the IVF treatment. Further investigation is required.
The study was based 255,786 British women who had assisted reproduction in Great Britain between 1991 and 2010, as recorded by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
The research was conducted by UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, UCLH, and the Institute of Cancer Research, and funded by Cancer Research UK and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Results of previous studies through various research groups on the risks of breast or ovarian cancers in women who have undergone assisted reproduction have been inconsistent and inconclusive.
The key takeaway is that if you are considering IVF or other assisted reproductive therapies, you should not worry about the procedures increasing your risk of developing breast cancer.
If you’d like to discuss your risks of developing breast cancer or advances in surgical treatments for breast cancer, I am happy to consult with you. Committed to serving breast cancer patients through my solo practice in Breast Surgical Oncology and General Surgery, I have offices at Tennova Turkey Creek Medical Center in West Knoxville, at Tennova North Knoxville Medical Center in Powell, at Jefferson Memorial Hospital, and in Newport.
My extensive research and dedication to continual learning have distinguished me as a leader in the field. To learn more about my compassionate surgical care approach visit www.aaronmd.com or call (865) 692-1610.