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Breast Cancer Survivors Can Attempt Pregnancy Sooner

Waiting six months after treatment, rather than two years, seems to be safe

FRIDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have survived localized breast cancer may be able to safely attempt pregnancy within a relatively short period of time, such as six months after treatment, rather than waiting at least two years as is currently recommended, according to a study published online Dec. 8 in BMJ.

Angela Ives, M.Sc., from the University of Western Australia in Crawley, and colleagues identified 123 women under 45 years old who survived breast cancer and had at least one subsequent pregnancy. Fifty-four percent conceived less than two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The researchers found that survival was better in women who conceived (hazard ratio, 0.59) than those who did not. When they looked at time-to-pregnancy after treatment ended, they found that women who waited at least 24 months to conceive had a significant protective effect (hazard ratio, 0.48) compared to women who did not become pregnant, and there was a non-significant protective effect for those who waited at least six months.

"Our study does not support the current medical advice given to premenopausal women with a diagnosis of breast cancer to wait two years before attempting to conceive," Ives and colleagues conclude. "This recommendation may be valid for women who are receiving treatment or have systemic disease at diagnosis, but for women with localized disease early conception, six months after completing their treatment, is unlikely to reduce survival."

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