Infertility Treatment and Breast/Ovarian Cancer

Are infertile women more likely to get breast, ovarian, or endometrial cancers? Does infertility treatment cause cancer? What options does a woman have for getting pregnant after being treated for breast cancer or ovarian or endometrial cancers? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Louise Brinton, Senior Scientific Advisor for the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). During her 40 year career with the NCI, she has focused her research on a wide variety of exposures related to cancer risks among women, including reproductive factors and fertility drugs; Humberto “Bert” Scoccia, MD, Professor and Director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago; and Alice Crisci, breast cancer survivor, activist and author.

Hit the Highlights
  • Are women who are infertile more likely to get breast cancer? Ovarian Cancer? Endometrium cancer?
  • How much of an increased risk does endometriosis add to a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer or ovarian cancer?
  • Does PCOS put a woman at increased risk for breast or ovarian or endometrial cancers?
  • Cancer Risk with Fertility Treatment
    • What are the risks of breast, endometrial, uterine, or ovarian cancer by infertility treatment?
    • How strong is the research?
    • What factors in treatment could add to the risk? Clomiphene citrate? gonadotrophins?
    • Does increased number of cycles of clomiphene citrate or gonadatrophins increase the risk?
    • Does it matter if you were successful at getting pregnant?
    • Are their other cancers that the risk might be increased for women who have undergone fertility treatment?
  • Getting Pregnant after Treatment:
    • What should a woman do if she has been treated for breast or ovarian cancer and now wants to get pregnant?
    • How does breast cancer treatment affect fertility?
    • How does ovarian cancer treatment affect fertility?
    • Endometiral cancers
    • Are their safe ways to protect the ovaries during treatment?
    • Are women in their 30s more likely to lose their fertility than women in their 20s?
    • What should a woman should do before treatment to increase her chances of getting pregnant or having a biological child after treatment?
    • If treatment does not involve chemotherapy, is it still recommended that she freeze her eggs?
    • Shanna: Are there organization that will pay for egg freezing for women diagnosed with breast cancer, or really any type of cancer?
    • Reoccurrence risk? Does pregnancy and/or fertility treatment after cancer put a woman at an increased risk of a reoccurrence?
    • Is it possible to freeze eggs from cancerous ovaries for later use in IVF?
    • How long should you wait after cancer treatment before trying to conceive?
    • Have there been studies to know if the radiation or drugs will increase my risk of infertility, miscarriage, or affect my baby’s health?
    • After treatment for breast or other reproductive tract cancers, is a woman at increased risk of re-occurrence if she uses fertility treatment?

Don’t miss an episode. Be sure to subscribe.

Leave us a rating or review.

Image Credit: Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!