Pattaya Daily News

27 March 2010 :: 15:03:56 pm 16770

Pregnancy After Breast Cancer

According to recent studies at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Barcelona, pregnancy may have a protective effect against breast cancer, so women with a history of breast cancer can now have babies without increasing their risk of recurrence.
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The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women wait up to five years after treatment depending on how aggressive the cancer was, before getting pregnant.  This is to allow for assessment of long term survival.

Trials, carried out by researchers from Belgium and Italy between 1970 and 2009 and involving 1,417 pregnant women with a history of breast cancer and 18,059 of non pregnant women with a history of breast cancer, have now found that pregnancy is safe for breast cancer survivors  It is said that the findings did not support any notions that hormonal changes associated with pregnancy could prompt a cancer to recur or become more aggressive, but it did suggest that a patient who became pregnant after diagnosis of breast cancer had a reduction of 42 per cent risk of death compared to those who did not get pregnant. Although it is well known that oestrogen was linked to breast cancer, the apparent protective effect of pregnancy could be explained by the higher levels of the hormone inhibiting cancer cells or the way the body boosted its immune system.

The findings showed that pregnancy in women with a history of successfully treated breast cancer is safe, and strongly argues against the perception that women with a history of breast cancer should not get pregnant for fear of increasing any risks of recurrence by means of hormonal stimulation. Women were being analyzed in groups to gauge the effects and timing of pregnancies after diagnosis of breast cancer.  There is a trend at the moment for delaying pregnancy and more young women are being cured from breast cancer, so it is important to provide as much evidence as possible to help physicians in counseling these patients.

Maria Leadbeater of Breast Cancer Care welcomed the research stating that to date there has been insufficient evidence on pregnancies after breast cancer treatment and the risks involved, if any and is very reassuring for the younger woman who has had breast cancer.

An artist and film director Sam Taylor-Wood gave birth after surviving two types of cancer. Colon cancer was diagnosed in 1997 after giving birth at the age of 29. She turned down drugs that would have made her infertile when treated for breast cancer in 2000, giving birth again in 2006 after being given the all clear. Now at 43, she is expecting her third child.

It has been said that chemotherapy can pose harm to a developing baby by some cancer charities, but during a discussion presented by the University of Frankfurt, Sibylle Loibl stated that chemotherapy given whilst the baby was still in the womb did not appear to cause any significant problems at or after birth.

Patty Brown

Photo : Internet   Category : Health

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