Those Who Have Feared Pregnancy After Breast Cancer Have Some Good News.
Many women have fears of pregnancy after breast cancer, as much of the information out there in the past has held that pregnancy and breast cancer don’t mix. Pregnancy after breast cancer has been said to induce recurrence of the cancer due to the hormone levels that pregnancy introduces. However, those looking to become pregnant after breast cancer have some reassurance.
A to a new breast cancer pregnancy study by the eighth European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna, Austria shows that the belief that post-breast cancer pregnancy would be unsafe, is, luckily, seemingly untrue.
Fears of Pregnancy After Breast Cancer
The study takes what was being touted as breast cancer facts and actually puts them to the test. Researchers studied women who had been diagnosed with estrogen-receptor positive tumors. The protein molecules in these tumors need estrogen to grow. ER-positive breast cancers are pretty common, as 30 percent of all breast cancers are ER-positive, says the National Institutes of Health.
The fear was that the high hormone levels that pregnancy induces may stimulate breast growth, increasing the risk of recurrence and impeding breast cancer survival. In fact, some pregnant women with breast cancer have been encouraged to consider abortions because of the risks thought to be associated with pregnancy and breast cancer. Researchers found that, in most cases, this suggestion is unnecessary.
Study on Breast Cancer and Pregnancy
Out of the women they studied, 333 women had become pregnant after being diagnosed with breast cancer and 874 women had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but did not become pregnant. The pregnancy breast cancer study found that, in regards to the recurrence of cancer, there was no difference between the women had had become pregnant and those who hadn’t.
In fact, the study might have shown that women who become pregnant within two years of their diagnosis may have better chances of “disease-free survival.” Researchers say that they have not studied this enough to present it as fact, though. It does seem safe to say that pregnancy is not one of the breast cancer risk factors.
Is Pregnancy Unsafe After Breast Cancer?
The lead author of the study, Dr. Hatem Azim, who is also a medical oncologist at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels, says this is vital for women who were often advised to avoid pregnancy after a breast cancer diagnosis. Azim maintained that this is the first study to look at the impact of breast cancer and pregnancy with this kind of cancer.
It’s also a huge reassurance for those looking to become pregnant after a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as for those oncologists who would like to tell their patients they can safely become pregnant after breast cancer. It will hopefully broaden the discussions of breast cancer and pregnancy, and Azim says it will hopefully reduce to number of women faced with deciding over abortion due to the proposed risks that poses post-breast cancer pregnancies. Women should still talk to their doctors during the pregnancy process to decide what is best for their individual health.