Fertility Drugs Could Lower Cancer Risk In Some Cases, Says Study


Research appearing in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute is asserting that in some cases fertility drugs can alter a woman's risk for developing cancer.

The study, carried out by a team of researchers from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), report that findings from the so-called the Two Sister Study indicate that women who were using ovulation-stimulating fertility drugs had a considerably lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who took no fertility drugs. The study further showed that women on fertility drugs who "failed to conceive a 10-plus week pregnancy had a statistically considerably lower breast cancer risk compared to nonusers." However, women who did conceive a 10-plus week pregnancy had a statistically relevant, higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who received the fertility drugs but did not successfully achieve at least a 10-plus week pregnancy.

"Our data suggest that exposure to a stimulated pregnancy is enough to undo the reduction in [breast cancer] risk associated with a history of exposure to ovulation-stimulating drugs," wrote the researchers.

In short, the researchers asserted that fertility drugs possibly elevate risk by effecting a change in pregnancy-related breast-tissue remodeling.

Some of the drawbacks of the study include the reality that an elevated breast cancer risk in the women who were successfully treated with fertility drugs could be a result of having been exposed to ovarian hormones in pregnancy, among other factors.

Furthermore, the study only focused on early-onset breast cancer, or breast cancer in women who are under the age of 50. The complicating issue here is that early-onset breast cancer in most cases is a consequence of genetic factors.

Source: Medical News Today


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