Risk warning

Women who underwent IVF more likely to develop ovarian cancer

In the biggest study to date on the effects of fertility treatment, researchers at University College London have found that women who underwent IVF treatment are one third more likely to develop ovarian cancer. The massive study looked at every IVF procedure recorded by the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) in Britain between 1991 and 2010, which amounts to more than 250,000 women. While the study found no difference in rates of uterine or breast cancer, they did find an increased risk for ovarian cancer. However, “most analyses of the dataset suggest that this increased risk was principally because of the nature of women needing these treatments in the first place, not due to the hormone drug treatments themselves,” said Professor Alastair Sutcliffe from the Institute of Child Health at UCL. Nevertheless, there is a “small possibility” that the treatment itself could be a factor, and British health experts believe the findings are important enough to consider screening IVF women for cancer risk at regular intervals, and alerting those women undergoing IVF treatment about the increased risk.

Read the full story at The Telegraph.

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