IVF and breast cancer — The Bump

IVF and breast cancer

My hubby and I are having difficulties TTC and will most likely be moving on to IVF.  I am concerned about the risks involved with IVF.  I have done some research and have not found been able to find many articles where it states that your chances of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer increae with IVF. We have family history of breast cancer and some other cancers.  What is your take on this? Have you done any research on this prior to doing IVF?

Re: IVF and breast cancer

  • I didn't do any research - but during our initial work-up they require a clean, current mammogram and a normal pap because of the elevated cancer risk.  During our classes they mentioned that the high dose bursts of estrogen can increase your risk.  It's definitely something that I think about as I pop my pills in the morning and I've been doing self-checks a lot more regularly now.  GL - whatever you decide!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Siggy Warning~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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  • I actually didn't need a mammogram before IVF, but that might be related to our ages.  We had a pretty lengthy discussion about this with my PA and she was troubled by the matter in which the studies were carried out (I can't recall her reasoning).  She also said that the highest rates of female cancers are found in nuns.  The point that she was trying to make is that your risk would be even greater if you never experienced a pregnancy to term.  In this way, it's like one step back, but two steps forward (if you achieve a pregnancy). 

    Me: 34 | He: 40
    TTC since 08/2012
    DX: DOR

  • I have looked at this a lot as I am BRCA1+ (breast cancer gene). Everyone has told me that the hormones in a 9 mo pregnancy are higher than what you'd get in an IVF over a few weeks. But when does it get dangerous? I'm sure no one envisioned me doing 7 IVFs and still no baby. So, yes I worry a lot. I personally think that it will affect it down the line and that there just aren't long term studies for these things right now, especially if you are predisposed (gene hasn't been known for that long to know if IvF increases my risk even more) I would say that one or two IVFs probably doesn't do much long term. They claim that the drugs don't cause cancer but if something is already there, it will fuel it to grow faster/sooner than it would w/out the drugs (but that's only if its an estrogen positive type of cancer). They also say never having kids raises your risk so you're screwed either way, right??

    My best advice is to be vigilant with your screening. Catching breast cancer early is your best weapon if you can't prevent it in the first place. OP- depending on your family history, you should consider getting screened for the gene. It's just a blod test and they will monitor you carefully if you are positive.

    TTC #1 since 8/1/10; Me:41 and BRCA1+, DH:46
    DOR (FSH 24.3)/ terrible egg quality ; homozygous MTHFR c677t
    5 IUI's: 2/11 to 6/11 and 1/12= BFN
    OE IVF#1-4 8/11-6/12= all BFN
    DE IVF#1 11/12 bad embryos= BFN
    DE IVF #2 2/13 BFP/Beta hell: m/c 5w6d
    CFNBC 7 months, not doing well; decided on guarantee program at RBA w/frozen DE
    DE IVF #3 1/14  ET 4BB; BFP;M/C 5w1d, incomplete m/c; MVA extraction in ER 7w1d

    DE FET#1 ET 3/1714; BFP, beta 1 3/27= 197, beta 2 3/31= 1586, beta 3 4/7= 13879!!
    First u/s= Twins with HBs at 6w2d! We are Team Pink x 2!!

    K & K born 11/21/14 at 38wks 4 days


    SAIF/PAIF Welcome


  • edited February 2014
    Bump burp!!

    Me: 34 | He: 40
    TTC since 08/2012
    DX: DOR

  • ****siggy warning****

    My RE's office has their patients obtain a baseline mammogram if you are > 35 yo. The explanation was that the estrogen doses might feed an early stage tumor, not that the drugs necessarily cause breast cancer.

  • bump!!!  Looking for more info on this subject.
  • My RE acknowledges that there is a correlation with IVF meds and possible increase of certain cancers, but a.) it's not a big increase and b.) he said that it's hard to separate out (statistically speaking) if an increase of cancer is related to IVF meds or never having a baby.  Women who don't have a biological child are also at increased risks of those cancers.
    *I am no longer regularly posting on TB because of the fucked up debacle of Jan 2015 when administrators banned long-term members and mods with no notice and completely dismantled a community full of women who cared about each other.  If you see me posting it's only to give support to a poster who needs it or to post something important enough that I need to say.  I am no longer responding to  anything other than issues that affect people who I care about*
    37 years old, MH is 42
    TTC since 2010; Dx Unexplained Infertility; possible male factor 
    August 2012 through June 2013:  6 IUIs with clomid and trigger shot, all BFNs
    7/2013, Pregnant! Unmedicated--we were on a treatment break
    8/20/13 no heart beat; 8/23/13 d&c
    3/15/14 IVF #1:  Lupron/Follistim/Menopur; ER 3/10 resulting in four transfer grade blastocysts, transferred one pretty blast and froze the remaining three. BFN. 
    Natural FET in May cancelled because the universe hates me my hormones were not cooperating.
    6/24/14 FET #1: transferred two pretty embryos; BFN   
    8/28/14 FET #2: BFP, ended in Chemical pregnancy

    Done with medical intervention and getting used to the idea of CFNBC.  

    All welcome
  • We never found it to be a concern. Actually when we were going over the paper work, and signing I read something about patients worrying about it, but that it was not a side effect. Both of us being nurses, (me and the RE nurse) kinda just laughed about it.....theses are all normal hormones that we are all suppose to be naturally producing in our body. Of course it's not going to give us any more of a chance if any to get cancer than the next fertile woman w/o IF treatments. 

    MC: 8 weeks July 27,2008
    Amenoria: August 2008
    TTC: Since October 1,2011
    Me: PCOS Husband: Slightly low morphology
    Before RE: Clomid x5 months, resistant
    Cycle 1: Clomid 100mg, Metformin 1500mg, Follistim 75iu x 2, Ovidrel, Progesterone 200mg, IUI: BFN 1.13.14
    Cycle 2: Clomid 100mg, Metformin 1500mg, Follistim 75iu x 4, Follistim 125mg x 2, Ovidrel, IUI: BFN 1.6.14
    IVF w/ ICSI Cycle 1: Metformin 1500mg, Follistim 300iu x5, Menopur, Ganirelix, Ovidril: Egg retrieval: 3.22.14, Embryo Transfer: 3.27.14 , Beta: 4.7.14

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