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Study Finds Fertility Treatment Does Not Increase Cancer Risk

a blog by Jennifer Redmond

A study assessing the risks of cancer related to IVF treatment should be reassuring for fertility patients. The study led by Louise A. Briton, Ph.D., chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, MD, found no relationship between fertility treatments and an increase in breast cancer or endometrial cancers.

The study was carried out at Maccabi Healthcare in Israel. A total of 87,403 women were evaluated for approximately 17 years, from September 25, 1994, through June 22, 2011.

According to the study, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, “For ovarian cancer, like several earlier studies, we noted some evidence of increasing risk with number of IVF cycles, but our relationship was not statistically significant, possibly owing to small numbers. Given the relatively short follow-up in most studies, including ours, further assessment of long-term effects of IVF should be pursued. This is especially important for ovarian cancer, given that the induction period associated with most risk factors may exceed 25 years.”


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