One of the common worries of breast cancer patients is having to deal with problems related to conceiving later on. This was answered by a new study, which showed that freezing eggs or the ovarian tissue prior to cancer treatment will be the best option for women, to increase the chances of a survivor to have children after she has recovered.
The study titled "Reproductive Outcomes After Breast Cancer in Women With vs Without Fertility Preservation" published in the journal JAMA Oncology revealed that these women who had fertility preservation processes before they had cancer treatment were more likely to have children after they recover.
The researchers from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden looked at 425 women who had breast cancer and who underwent fertility preservation treatment between 1994 and 2017 at Swedish university hospitals. The researchers compared the childbirth rate of those who had fertility preservation with a control group that did not undergo the process.
They found that in the group that had fertility preservation, childbirth was 2.3 times more common, and treatments with assisted reproduction were 4.8 times more common. 23 percent of women in the fertility preservation group gave birth to at least one offspring within 4.6 years after they had their diagnosis, as compared to women in the control group where only nine percent of them were able to give birth in a span of 4.8 years after diagnosis.
Aside from the higher rate of childbirth, the mortality rate of the fertility preservation group was also lower. They had 5.3 percent mortality, while the control group had 11.1 percent.
The researchers noted that one of the limitations of the study was the lack of information on why the women in the control group did not opt for a fertility preservation treatment. They were also not able to ascertain if the group also wanted to have children at the time that they received their breast cancer diagnosis.
Anna Marklund, one of the authors of the study, said in a news release that they hope that the conclusions of their study will be able to increase the body of knowledge so that women who suffer from breast cancer and who want to have children will be able to make informed decisions in consultation with their physicians.