Cancer and In Vitro Fertilization. Is there really a risk?
One of the biggest fears a woman faces when choosing an IVF process is whether this treatment can lead to cancer later in her life. Concerns on the subject are reasonable, as this is a serious matter but the medical community responds with research and scientific evidence as to whether it is possible or just another myth.
Contemporary international bibliography and global medical research show that there is no direct link between IVF and cancer. All researchers came to the conclusion that there is no clear evidence that assisted reproduction drugs are associated with the development of malignancy.
But how was this myth born?
The hypothesis of correlation between In Vitro Fertilization and cancer was based on the theoretical basis that anything that disturbs the hormonal profile can be associated with the growth of cancer cells. Theoretically, elevated estrogens could be associated with the onset or growth acceleration of estrogen-dependent tumors, such as breast cancer. However, this approach remains a theoretical hypothesis, since no medical circle can support it with solid evidence.
Evidence is only something that is confirmed by clinical research. There is no clinical research to show that women who have had IVF are more likely to develop gynecological cancer than other women in the general population
At Gyn Care IVF we apply evidence – based medicine, ie making clinical decisions based on documented knowledge. In practice, we try to combine clinical judgment and experience with the available scientific data, in order to provide the best possible medical services to our patients. In this context, we use medical data, as presented in published studies.
The relation between fertility drugs and breast cancer has been investigated in large and reliable studies. No statistically significant association has been found between fertility medication and risk for future cancer development.
However, in any case, we take into account the chances of developing cancer, related to each patient’s history.
Increased Risk Factors for Cancer:
- Infertility alone increases the chance of ovarian Ca.
- Premature menarche or late menopause.
- Obesity or a high-fat diet.
- The family history
- The individual history of breast or large intestine Ca.
- Gene mutations.
- Low parity is a known aggravating factor for ovarian Ca.
- The link between endometriosis and ovarian cancer has been expressed by several researchers.
On the other hand, women who have undergone IVF and breastfed for 15 months in their lifetime further reduce their risk of breast cancer by 20%. In addition, it has been shown that women undergoing IVF treatment are monitored by a gynecologist and checked more often, resulting in early diagnosis at an early stage.
Prevention, the only solution
Gyn Care IVF supports prevention. Thus, we consider that the preventive checking before IVF is absolutely necessary. Women who are going to undergo ovulation induction therapy (IVF) undergo a full screening by our team for the possibility of the onset of a neoplasia.
Obtaining a detailed history, individual and family, but also the checking through clinical examination and laboratory tests is a prerequisite step in our approach. The clinical examination includes mammography with breast palpation, breast ultrasound, mammography or breast magnetic resonance imaging, vaginal ultrasound, Pap smear (PAP test) and in case of differential diagnosis with ovaries Doppler and checking of cancer markers (CEA, Ca 125, α fetal hemoglobin, β chorionic gonadotropin).
In conclusion, therefore, based on the documented results of all studies in the modern bibliography, we conclude that IVF drugs are not “guilty” of causing neoplasia. Women who unfortunately got sick would develop cancer whether they had undergone an IVF procedure or not. The fact that they have undergone IVF may make them justify psychologically, the problem that led to the disease.