IVF in Young Women Linked to Breast Cancer: Study
A new study from Australia suggests that, Women who undergo in vitro fertilization at a very young age are more prone to breast cancer.
But the findings that was based on a study of more than 21,000 women, cannot determine whether IVF contributed to the cancers or whether something else could explain the risk. This study was led by Louise M. Stewart and published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Researchers found that women who underwent IVF at age 24 were 1.6 times as likely to develop breast cancer as women of the same age who underwent infertility treatments but not IVF, the study showed. The link held after researchers took into account other factors known to affect breast cancer risk, such as being older at the birth of the first child, and having twins or other multiples.
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Participants who were treated for infertility with non IVF procedure or medications did not show higher diagnosis ate for breast cancer than non infertile women of the same age. Participants who underwent this process at an early age of 24 were actually one and a half times more likely to develop breast cancer than other women of the age who opted for other infertility treatments other than IVF. While the women who opted for IVF at age of 40 showed no increased risk.
Test tube baby is what the name is given to the babies born by this method. People who have difficulty in conceiving opt for this method. Young urban women who are unable to conceive due to a stressful life, long working hours and late marriages are increasingly falling back on it. It was in the year 1978 that Britain's first IVF baby was born to Louise Brown. And this has been around for more than 3 decades.
The study states that, the female hormone estrogen propels the growth of some types of breast cancer. The drugs used in IVF temporarily raise a woman's estrogen levels that can peak at 4,000 picograms per milliliter of blood, much higher than the 300 pg/mL seen during a normal menstrual cycle.
According to sources, Linda Giudice, president-elect of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, said in a statement that. "The development of breast cancer is linked to estrogen exposure and the longer one is exposed, the greater the risk. In an IVF cycle there is a short, but significant elevation in circulating estrogen, and whether this is linked to the observations found in the study is not clear at this time."
Stewart proposed another explanation that younger women who undergo IVF may be dissimilar in some significant way from those who only have other types of fertility treatment.