Motherhood Does Not Decrease Chance of Survival for Women Who Had Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a medical condition that professionals continue to warn women about. Researchers have been working hard to have more knowledge of the disease, and the information will be used to provide preventive measures for women. A recent study has cleared a misconception that involves motherhood. According to the study, women who entered motherhood after surviving breast cancer are safer from potential early death than previously thought.

Photo: Pixahive/Manjesh

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh analyzed patient data from the Scottish Cancer Registry and National Maternity Databases. The data included 5,200 women younger than 40, all diagnosed between 1981 and 2017. The team also analyzed the survival of pregnancies until 2018. Moreover, data was gathered from 290 women who had a live birth after a breast cancer diagnosis, and it was concluded that their survival was higher than those who did not give birth after getting diagnosed.

Photo: Pexels/Anna Shvets

“This analysis shows that having a baby after breast cancer doesn’t have a negative impact on survival,” said Richard Anderson, a professor in the university’s center for reproductive health. “It provides reassurance for the growing number of women who want to start or complete their families after breast cancer treatment.”

The study also helped in understanding hormone sensitivity. It was initially thought that increased hormone levels during pregnancy might trigger cancer and lead to a lower chance of survival. This was due to the fact that tumor cells often develop using the hormones estrogen and progesterone as their fuel.

Part of the research was the difference in survival rate between different ages during pregnancy. According to the study, pregnancy at all ages showed a higher survival rate — whether the women gave birth before or after tumor growth. Survival was also higher for women who got pregnant for the first time after cancer. These results were all presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. The findings are still considered preliminary until published in a journal.

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