Due to the presentation of the results of a large Danish study at the European Society for Human Reproduction & Endocrinology (ESHRE) the American Society of Clinical Oncology also published an analysis of their findings. This resulted in many newspaper articles which said both that IVF dramatically does and does not increases breast cancer risk. What is the truth?
The results of the study show a slightly higher risk which was then attributed to ‘detection bias’. This means that women undergoing fertility treatment are more actively medically monitored and therefore more cancers are found.
My take on this study as well as the others is: WHY GUESS? The bottom line is that the goal of these medications is to raise estradiol (one of the types of estrogen) levels to produce more eggs per cycle. Estradiol, according to the Women’s Health Initiative, has been found to be risky for a small group of women.
WHY GUESS? Find out if you can process estrogens effectively.
If you find out that you do not manage estrogens well, you can take simple steps to improve this function. Does it mean you shouldn’t do IVF? No. It means that you and your doctor should assess your overall estrogen exposure and monitor more closely. You take charge of your health.
You decide what your body can safely tolerate.
Here are some articles about the study.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology Analysis.
An article proclaiming high risk.
Another analysis of the study results.