LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A promising study is giving women more hope that they can have a family and live a long life after undergoing breast cancer treatment.
The research reviews dozens of studies and thousands of women from all over the world. So, even though the results aren’t in it yet, experts already realize there is one thing women must do before they start treatment to dramatically increase their chance of becoming a mother.
“Often the diagnosis of breast cancer interrupts their family planning,” said oncologist Dr. Marisa Weiss who founded and is the chief medical officer of breastcancer.org.
“Recent studies have shown that women with breast cancer can have healthy children and that getting pregnant and having a full -term pregnancy does not threaten your life, Weiss said.
If having children is important to you, one of the most critical things you can do before treatment is consult with a fertility expert. The study uncovered that many doctors simply aren’t aware that it’s safe to have a baby after a diagnosis of breast cancer and they may even discourage you from having a family.
“Because depending on age and type of chemo you get, can that chemo shut down the ovaries, make you infertile? So, you want to meet with your fertility doctor before you get started on treatment to discuss your options,” she said.
Women who’ve been treated for breast cancer do have a tougher time getting pregnant and do have a higher risk of pre-term labor and deliveries. But research shows that a majority of them — 60% — can deliver healthy babies without putting their life at risk.
“Women can have the same long-term survival, same chance of living a long life with or without that pregnancy,” Weiss said.
The study can be found on breastcancer.org. One other approach they’re examining is taking a break from your treatment for a couple of years and resuming it after you get pregnant.