Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fertility drugs and breast cancer

The million dollar question: Did the fertility drugs cause this breast cancer? My opinion, probably. If I have the BRCA gene mutation my lifetime chance for getting breast cancer is 85%. There is a good chance it sped it up though. To get Julianna I did 6 iuis and 3 ivfs. After her birth to try for a second I did 2 iuis and 3 ivfs. The last ivf was in June. If I knew about this ahead of time I still would have done it to get Julianna. However, I would have stopped there.

My good friend Maddy works in an alternative medicine practice and they treat a lot of breast cancer patients. She said in recent weeks they have seen seven young women who have recently completed treatment for infertility. She suggests that all women who are about start infertility treatment should be tested for BRCA gene mutation. I agree that it would be a great idea. They should also test women who are using these drugs to be egg donors. Everyone should know the risk before proceeding.

My fertility doctors said they did not believe there was increased risk. My breast surgeon thinks there is. She said no one goes back to a fertility doctor to tell them they have breast cancer, but plenty of people with breast cancer come to her and tell her they used fertility drugs.

Infertility treatment is a huge business. I am sure they don't want women to know about the risks. I am sorry I was not more informed, but I still believe getting Julianna was worth it. Even if I knew I would get breast cancer I would still have done it in order to get her.

1 comment:

  1. I hear You Mary Ellen!
    Chances are that if you have the the gene you would be in the same place. It is good to have all the info and to go in with our eyes open. I agree. We do the best we can with the info we have and then Life Happens. The good, the bad, the ugly.
    Know this; FRIENDS MULTIPLY JOY & DIVIDE SORROW. You are surrounded with love as you travel down this path.