Pregnancy possible for many after childhood cancer

Pregnant cropped

Pregnant croppedWinning the battle with cancer is one of the most alleviating news for patients and their families.   One can only look into the future with a sigh of relief but it only it were that easy.  A new study indicates researchers from the U.S. and Canada found that female childhood cancer survivors tended to take longer to conceive than their sisters, but nearly two-thirds of the infertile survivors eventually did get pregnant.

One of the issues with fertility after having cancer is that fertility becomes difficult.  Historically, childhood cancer survivors have been counseled that they may be unable to get pregnant because cancer-fighting chemotherapy and radiation can damage their ovaries.  Dr. Mitchell Rosen says, getting pregnant gets harder about 10 years before women go through menopause and childhood cancer survivors tend to go through early menopause.

“If people aren’t totally sterilized by their chemotherapy, they have a pretty good chance of getting pregnant, ” says, Dr. Elizabeth Ginsburg, medical director of assisted reproductive technologies at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and one of the study’s authors.  People should be informed of the consequences of chemotherapy and their reproductive cycles.

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