Do Fertility Treatments Cause Breast Cancer?

Do Fertility Treatments Cause Breast Cancer?

When you are undergoing fertility treatments, you definitely have plenty to worry about, and plenty on your plate. It’s not like you need something else to think about during a very stressful and nerve wracking time. So, what is the connection between fertility treatments and breast cancer? Is there a connection at all? Should you be worried? Read on to find out more. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Disturbing trend

It seems like we are hearing more and more these days about younger women being diagnosed with breast cancer after undergoing fertility treatments. Giuliana Rancic, E! News host, was famously diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37 after undergoing IVF treatments. Same thing for Elizabeth Edwards, late wife of former senator John Edwards. So, what’s the deal? Is there a link, or is this all pure coincidence?

The experts say

The experts have weighed in, and they are all in agreement that there is no proven link between fertility treatments like IVF and breast cancer.

“IVF drugs do not cause cancer,” says Cynthia Austin, M.D., Director of the In-Vitro Fertilization Program at the Cleveland Clinic.

Various studies have been done which indicate that there is indeed no link between breast cancer and fertility treatments. So, why do some people still believe that this risk is indeed real?

What about estrogen levels?

But, don’t estrogen levels rise when fertility treatments are given? Shouldn’t this lead to an increased risk for breast cancer? While exposure to higher levels of estrogen have led to an increased cancer risk in women age 50 and over, experts say that fertility drugs do not expose women to estrogen at that age. Fertility drugs do raise estrogen levels for a period of around seven days, but experts say that that is not enough time to do any real damage.

Should women undergoing IVF have a mammogram?

Doctors say that women undergoing IVF or other fertility treatments should follow their normal doctor’s recommendations for all routine screenings, including mammograms. Most doctors recommend that women without significant risk factors start having yearly mammograms beginning at age 40.

What to know

While many people think that there is some sort of undiagnosed or unknown link between IVF and breast cancer, experts and researchers have not been able to find a link in research up to this point. Instead, they urge women to follow their doctor’s orders when it comes to screening and looking for breast cancer before, during, and after IVF therapy. It is important that no matter how much you are focusing on fertility and your pregnancy journey, that you do not get sidetracked and begin to take other areas of your health for granted.

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Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Dr. Christine Lee, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).