No increased risk of recurrence with pregnancy after breast cancer
medwireNews: Women with a history of early breast cancer can be reassured that becoming pregnant will not increase their risk of recurrence or death.
The research, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, Illinois, USA, showed that disease-free survival over a median 10 years did not differ significantly between the 333 women with nonmetastatic breast cancer who became pregnant at a median of 2.4 years from diagnosis and their 874 counterparts who did not. This was the case irrespective of estrogen-receptor (ER) status.
Overall survival was also comparable between women with ER-positive disease who did versus did not become pregnant, but in the ER-negative group, pregnancy reduced the risk of death by a significant 43%.
“It’s possible that pregnancy could be a protective factor for patients with ER-negative breast cancer, through either immune system mechanisms or hormonal mechanisms, but we need more research into this,” said researcher Matteo Lambertini (Institut Jules Bordet, Brussels, Belgium) said in a press release.
He added: “Our findings confirm that pregnancy after breast cancer should not be discouraged, even for women with ER-positive cancer.
“However, when deciding how long to wait before becoming pregnant, patients and doctors should consider each woman’s personal risk for recurrence, particularly for women who need adjuvant hormone therapy.”
ASCO Chief Medical Officer Richard Schilsky (University of Chicago) also added a note of caution, pointing out that as the chart review focused on the risk of recurrence, no conclusions could be drawn regarding the outcomes of the pregnancy itself.
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