2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 11:16
Having a baby after surviving breast cancer is a terribly beautiful revenge on life. History now possible and more and more experienced.
Because breast cancer is often diagnosed in women in their 30s and early 40s, it is now less rare for women to become pregnant once treatment is complete. Life goes on… According to data in France, 10% of breast cancer survivors will have one or two babies afterwards.
L'Association Francophone de l'Après Cancer du sein (AFACS), in a survey en titled Giving life after breast cancer, established that there are a few years ago, starting a child after having had breast cancer was considered particularly risky, but today some women dare to try the adventure by benefiting from appropriate follow-up. A joyful news that can put a balm on the heart of women struggling with breast cancer, but who also wish to one day become a mother. This project can probably allow them to focus on a very real and incredibly powerful goal – to have a baby – and to go through all the treatments with new strength. Basically, it's aiming twice for life!
This large study, one of the first on this phenomenon, brought together people who were on average 40 years old, who had their breast cancer around 30 years old and became pregnant on average 3 and a half years after their recovery.
Treatments and fertility
“Chemotherapy often causes menopause in 40-year-old women, which unfortunately can be permanent. But it is temporary, most of the time, in younger patients. Hormone therapy, on the other hand, delays the possibility of having a baby by 5 years since it is completely contraindicated with pregnancy. »Source: Chronicle of an ordinary cancer blog
A woman's fertility could therefore be affected first by her age. The number of eggs decreases as the woman ages. Since it is suggested to wait two to three years after the end of the treatments (which also corresponds to the period most prone to recurrences), it is therefore possible that the woman postpones her dream of starting a family.
Also, the type and dose of chemotherapy will impact a woman's fertility. Some cause menstruation to stop temporarily while others accelerate menopause. As for radiotherapy, it would have no effect on fertility while hormone therapy would be contraindicated. In short, faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer, a woman should be able to discuss the choice of treatment, especially if she is considering a possible pregnancy afterwards.
Living with the fear of a recurrence
There remains a shadow on the board… Women who have experienced pregnancy after breast cancer experience a certain duality. First an immense joy, but also the anguish of the future and a recurrence. It's not the pregnancy as such that scares them, but the grim prospect of maybe not being there for the child's return to school and for all their birthdays, etc. Recurrence is a risk. But having a baby or not doesn't change the statistics. In fact, 20% of the women questioned during the study indicated that they had had a recurrence, which corresponds to the rates generally observed for all women. This prompted one of the doctors attached to the study to say that women who become pregnant after breast cancer do not take an additional risk. “We are not immune to a recurrence, and afterwards, very clever is the one who will say if it is because of the pregnancy, or if it is the natural history of the disease”, indicates the Dr Lesur.
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