New Study Says Fertility Drugs Do Not Lead to Breast Cancer -- With Caveats

I'm still not convinced but a new study has found that fertility drugs do not lead to breast cancer.

Maybe it's just anecdotal but I and quite a few of my friends who have had this kind of treatment have developed breast cancer.  My thought is that it's from all the estrogen we take to try to sustain a pregnancy when we can't do it on our own.

Women who took Clomid or gonadotropins as a part of fertility treatment did not experience an increased risk for breast cancer over 30 years of follow-up, compared with women who were not treated with these medication, according to

Now I took the more hard-core injectible meds, not the pills you just swallowed, so maybe that's part of it (although gonadotropins do include some of those meds).

An elevated risk for invasive breast cancer was observed for a small number of women who were exposed to 12 or more cycles of clomiphene, who had a little more than 1.5 times the risk of women in the study who never took fertility drugs, reports. Women who were unable to become pregnant after taking gonadotropins and clomid had nearly twice the risk of women in the study who never took either medication.

“The observed increase in risk for these small subsets of women may be related to persistent infertility rather than an effect of the medications,” the Web site quotes Louise A. Brinton, Ph.D., M.P.H., chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Md. “Nevertheless, these findings stress the importance of continued monitoring of women who are exposed to fertility drugs.”
Sounds like we're not totally out of the clear.
Under current practices, clomid is usually limited to three to six cycles at doses up to 100 mg, which is far lower than in the past, including patients in this study who were prescribed doses up to 250 mg, oftentimes for many years, explained Brinton.
“Given the high doses of drugs received by our study participants and the lack of large increases in breast cancer risk many years after exposure, women previously exposed to such drugs should be reassured by these findings,” said Brinton at “However, the women in our study who developed breast cancer were on average only 53 years old, which is still young in terms of when we usually expect breast cancers to develop."
I had just turned 50.
“This cohort of women should continue to be monitored as they progress into a typical breast cancer age range; in addition, data are needed to assess the long-term effects of fertility drugs given in current practice, such as those used in conjunction with IVF,” added Brinton.


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