Fertility and pregnancy in cancer survivors

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in females. In the United States, about 264,000 breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women. A recent study found that women who have had breast cancer can stop taking their hormone-blocking drugs for two years in order to become pregnant without increasing their risk of the cancer relapsing. Read along to know about treating breast cancer during pregnancy and Is pregnancy possible after breast cancer.

Relationship between breast cancer and female hormones

Breast cancer tumor cells have a close relationship with female reproductive hormones. The two key hormones in females, estrogen and progesterone, are in charge of a woman’s ability to become pregnant. The hormone receptor is detected in about two out of every three cases of breast cancer. When estrogen or progesterone are involved, the tumor cells tend to develop. Breast cancers that are estrogen receptor positive (ER+) or progesterone receptor positive (PR+) can be treated surgically and with hormone-blocking drugs for the next five to ten years. 

The short-term rate of breast cancer recurrence was nearly the same for women who stopped their hormone therapy to get pregnant, according to research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Continue reading to know about pregnancy and breastfeeding after breast cancer and Are Cancer Survivors high risk pregnancy?

A gist of breast cancer signs and symptoms

Understanding how our breasts typically appear and feel is important for us. For women of all ages, breast cancer has now become common. It was assumed that women over the age of 40 were more likely to develop breast cancer. It is vital to know that anyone who is between their 20s to 40s can still get breast cancer. Hence, it is usually advised to get a routine breast screening exam. The typical signs of breast cancer are listed below.

  • A new, painless lump that is typically shaped oddly and located in the breast, collarbone, or armpit
  • Swelling, thickening, or roughening of a portion of the breast
  • Nipple discharge, different from breast milk
  • Skin texture change, where the skin becomes flaky and red in the breast or nipple
  • The location of the nipple would shift, turning inward

Is pregnancy possible after breast cancer?

After breast cancer, pregnancy is possible. However fertility and pregnancy in cancer survivors differ and depend on a person’s age, fertility status, and results of hormone testing for things like FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). This determines whether a person has experienced menopause, and AMH (anti-mullerian hormone), revealing how well their ovaries are functioning. 

Due to chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, menopause often comes early for many women. Many medical professionals advise women to delay pregnancy planning for at least two years. This is because it may reduce the possibility of a cancer relapse. Women who are receiving hormone therapy may become pregnant while on break from the procedure and then continue the therapy after giving birth. 

Hope this blog on pregnancy and breastfeeding after breast cancer is helpful and informative.