Last month we learned that women getting treated for cancer with chemotherapy can still have a safe pregnancy, but more recent research is finding that women who have been treated for breast cancer in the past can successfully give birth.
The medical community previously believed that pregnancy can raise levels of estrogen and cause the cancer to return because the hormone triggers proteins in cancer cells. Experts recommended breast cancer survivors wait at least 2 years to conceive, but a research team at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels says otherwise.
Oncologist Dr. Hatem Azim Jr. and his team found that women with oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer — the most common form of the disease — are safe to get pregnant without increasing the risk for the disease to return.
To come to their conclusion, they studied 333 women with either a positive or negative receptor status who had become preggers after being diagnosed with breast cancer, along with 874 women with the same condition who did not conceive. According to Azim:
"Out of all the women, 57% had ER+ disease, but the study showed there was no difference in the length of time women with either ER+ or ER– negative disease survived without their disease recurring compared with those who did not become pregnant."
While some recommend the study "should be interpreted with a degree of caution," other experts seem to really appreciate the study because it "supports previous evidence that becoming pregnant following a breast cancer diagnosis, whether you are estrogen receptor positive, does not increase the risk of recurrence."
[Image via WENN.]