For the first time, experts say that most women who've had breast cancer can become pregnant without risking the disease's return. Doctors previously believed that pregnancy raised estrogen levels, thus triggering cancer cell proteins, and recommended women wait at least two years before trying to conceive. Breast cancer patients who got pregnant before then or while still in treatment were advised to get abortions. So the news that the 80% of women with estrogen receptor positive breast cancer (the most common form of the disease) don't actually increase their risk of relapsing when they get pregnant could revolutionize the medical industry and assuage the fears of women whose lives have already irrevocably changed.
Although the research is not yet conclusive, experts — and presumably breast cancer survivors — are thrilled. "For younger women, the chance to have a family after a breast cancer diagnosis can be a really important part of moving forward and, understandable, concerns about the safety of pregnancy after breast cancer treatment come up time and again," Grete Brauten-Smith, clinical nurse specialist for younger women at Breast Cancer Care, told the Guardian. If more research proves pregnancy is safer than previously thought, that'll be one less concern for thousands of women.
Pregnancy safe after breast cancer treatment, study shows [The Guardian]
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