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Does IVF Cause breast cancer?

By Anonymous July 9, 2015 - 3:50am
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Please can you tell me if IVF is linked to breast cancer? My niece as had two sessions of IVF and has been told that it can cause breast cancer.

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Hello Anonymous,

Welcome to EmpowHER and thank you for reaching out to us with your concern regarding your niece and the link between breast cancer and IVF.

There is no strong evidence to connect fertility drugs with increased risk for breast cancer. Oncologists add that there is a need for studies that follow women who have undergone IVF for longer periods of time.

The concern arises with the known fact that exposure to estrogen and progestin after menopause has been linked to increased risk for breast cancer for women in their 50s and 60s.

However, fertility drugs do not expose women to estrogen at that age, says Samantha Pfeifer, MD. She is chair of the practice committee at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Pfeifer says fertility drugs raise estrogen levels for up to seven days at a time. "Estrogen levels are not significantly raised for a prolonged period of time."

"As long as you don't have a cancer diagnosis," Litton tells WebMD, "at this point, there is no evidence that IVF will increase risk for patients with greater risk factors, even those with the BRCA gene mutation or family history."

I hope this information is helpful to you.


July 9, 2015 - 8:25am
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