Do Fertility Drugs Cause Cancer?
This question has been running through my mind all day today. I was eating breakfast with my son Mason when E! News host Giuliana Rancic, 37, announced on the Today Show that she had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. The shocking diagnosis was made while she was undergoing health screenings before her third round of in-vitro fertilization (IVF). I’ve watched her struggle with infertility, two rounds of IVF, and a miscarriage on her Style Network reality show Giuliana & Bill, and I had been hoping that she was about to announce that she was finally pregnant. And now this?
At work, several people asked me if I thought that the fertility drugs Giuliana had taken had caused her cancer. (I edit the Pregnancy Channel on Parents.com.) I’ve been researching the topic tonight and the articles that I’ve read have all said that there is no proven link between fertility drugs and cancer. On its website the American Cancer Society addresses breast cancer specifically and says, “IVF does not appear to cause breast cancer.” I’m certain more studies will be done on this topic, and I hope that there’s never evidence to the contrary.
The hero in this story is Giuliana’s doctor, in my opinion. He probably saved her life when he insisted that she get a mammogram. Most likely, a pregnancy would have accelerated her cancer and her prognosis could have been very bleak. As a precaution, I had a mammogram before my husband and I started trying for Mason; my own mother battled and beat breast cancer at the age of 34. Giuliana, however, said during her Today Show interview that she hadn’t planned on getting a mammogram until she turned 40, even though her aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer previously.
Did your doctor suggest that you get a mammogram before you got pregnant? Do you think mammograms should be recommended for all women who are trying to get pregnant?
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