Breast cancer survivors can have a safe pregnancy

Carol RoachStarred Page By Carol Roach, 20th Feb 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Women's Health

Young women who have cancer have it bad enough but will cancer rob them of having children as well?


Women who have had breast cancer wonder if they would be able to have a baby. During pregnancy they worry about the health of their baby. They wonder about their own health and they wonder about their survival rate. A new study can put some of the worries aside. Pregnant women who have survived breast cancer are not at any greater risk of dying because they become pregnant.

Estrogen and other cancers

The major medical concern for pregnant women has always been that estrogen rises during pregnancy and doctors were concerned that the estrogen would refuel estrogen receptive cancers causes these cancers to return. Many doctors advised against getting pregnant because of it.
New research was recently presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference EBCC7 in Barcelona, Spain. The researchers did not find a link between recurrent breast cancer and pregnancy.
Belgium doctor Hatem Azim from the Institut Jules Bordet, compared the findings of 1,400 women who had had breast cancer and became pregnant to 18,000 women who had had breast cancer but did not become pregnant. The research was done over 30 years comprising 9 separate studies.
They actually found that the women who got pregnant had a 42 percent less of a chance for recurring cancer. Dr. Azim maintains that getting pregnant is safe and important information for young women. Millions of young women postpone getting pregnant after having a successfully cured breast cancer. They now can get pregnant after they have finished their therapy and medications.

Dr. Azim says that the correlation between breast cancer and estrogen is a complicated one. On the one hand, estrogen can fuel cancer cells, on the other hand, the high levels of estrogen released in the body during pregnancy can actually kill cancer cells through apoptosis also known as programmed cell death.

The rise in the level of prolactin; the breast-feeding hormone present during pregnancy can also lower the risk of cancer. Dr. Azim also feels that pregnant women’s immune system may also have something to do with the lower risk. He hypothesizes that fetal antigens may cause the immune system to produce antibodies which in turn may act as some kind of tumour vaccination.


The University of Montreal cautions against becoming pregnant while still taking cancer drugs.

The team will be doing more research to try to determine if timing plays a crucial role in a safe pregnancy after breast cancer. Hopefully there will be good news for would be mothers who have cancer in the future.

Photos taken from the public domain

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Cancer, Pregnancy, Pregnancy And Cancer

Meet the author

author avatar Carol Roach
Retired therapist and author of two books, freelance writer, newsletter editor, and blogger. I write, health, mental health, women's issues, animal , celebrity, history, and SEO articles.

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author avatar Kingwell
20th Feb 2015 (#)

This is very good news for many women. Blessings.

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author avatar Retired
20th Feb 2015 (#)

This is awesome news, for all the women who has been through this and feel that their dreams of becoming a mother is lost. Excellent article!

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author avatar writestuff
21st Feb 2015 (#)

Informative well researched article. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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