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Devastating truth shows IVF treatments linked to breast cancer

IVF treatment

(NaturalNews) New evidence appears to substantiate previous studies that those undergoing In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) likely have a higher chance of developing some cancers.

According to research published in the journal Breast Cancer Research, a study involving 43,313 women found that those who underwent controlled ovarian stimulation, which is a key component of IVF treatments, are more likely to develop dense breast tissue. Dense tissue is known to be one of the strongest risk factors associated with breast cancer development; women with highly dense breasts are up to six times more likely to develop cancer, the UK's Daily Mail reported.

As further reported by Science Daily:

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden found that women with a history of infertility had denser breasts than other women. The association was more pronounced in women who had undergone controlled ovarian stimulation (COS), the hormone treatment required for in vitro fertilization. While this may indicate a potential adverse effect of COS on breast density, the researchers point out that the effect may be due to the underlying infertility that motivates the use of a specific treatment, rather than to the treatment itself.

"The results from our study indicate that infertile women, especially those who undergo COS, might represent a group with an increased breast cancer risk," said Frida Lundberg, lead author of the study. "While we believe it is important to continue monitoring these women, the observed difference in breast tissue volume is relatively small and has only been linked to a modest increase in breast cancer risk in previous studies."

Hormone replacement therapy at heart of rise?

Researchers note that breast tissue is comprised of two types: dense, fibroglandular and non-dense, fatty tissue. Women who have extremely dense breasts are between four and six times more likely to develop breast cancer than women with less-dense breast tissue, prior studies have shown.

In the latest IVF study, women who have a history of infertility were found to have higher absolute dense volume – that is, denser fibroglandular tissue – than non-fertile women. Infertile women who have undergone COS had higher absolute dense volume than those who had not undergone any hormone treatment.

Hormone replacement therapy like COS boosts progesterone and estrogen levels and is also believed to increase the risk of developing breast cancer. But this is the first population-based study to examine the effect of infertility and hormone stimulation on mammographic density that could be a useful marker regarding the effects of hormonal fertility treatment on breast cancer risk, especially on females below the age breast cancers are usually diagnosed – around 50 years and older.

The women in the study were all aged between 40 and 69. All had mammograms as part of the university's study, between 2010 and 2013. In addition, all of the women responded to a questionnaire that included inquiries about their age, height, whether or not they smoked and drank alcohol (and if so, how much), any history of infertility, and family history of breast cancer. Of the 8,963 women who reported fertility problems, 1,576 had undergone COS, while 1,429 had been given hormonal stimulation without COS, and 5,948 had received no fertility treatment at all.

Earlier research links IVF to other cancers

As Science Daily reported further:

To assess associations between infertility, hormonal fertility treatments and mammographic density, the researchers first compared mammographic density levels between fertile and infertile women. They then compared infertile women who had never received hormonal fertility treatment to those who had.

The Daily Mail Online noted that previous research conducted by University College London, and presented to a major fertility conference in the fall, suggested that IVF could also increase the risk of ovarian cancer by about one-third.

"These findings are plausible but, nonetheless it would be irresponsible in the extreme to frighten women who have been subfertile and had treatment to think that they would be at higher risk of breast cancer," said Prof. Alastair Sutcliffe of UCL, who led that study, adding that such research is still at an early stage.






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