Clomid not linked to breast cancer


There has been a suggestion by past research that fertility drugs have some association with breast cancer. New studies show that this may not be true.

Long term study on effect of fertility drugs

Women who do not ovulate regularly may take medications to stimulate regular ovulation or in conjunction with assisted reproductive technologies like intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some studies have suggested a link between these medications and breast cancer. “We wanted to evaluate the long-term relationship of fertility medications and breast cancer risk after controlling for other factors that have been shown to be correlated with both breast cancer risk and use of those drugs,” said Louise A. Brinton, chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Risk for breast cancer not higher in medicated group

The research team analyzed data from 12,000 women who were assessed for infertility in medical centers across the US between 1965 and 1988. From this group, 9,892 were selected and followed until 2010. In that group, 749 developed breast cancer, 536 of them had invasive breast cancer. Nevertheless, the researchers found that women who took fertility medication clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or gonadotropins did not have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to other women not on the medication. “Overall, our data show that use of fertility drug does not increase breast cancer risk in this population of women, which is reassuring,” explained Brinton.

Cancer may be related to infertility, not the drugs to treat it

“The observed increase in risk for these small subsets of women may be related to persistent infertility rather than an effect of the medication,” stated Brinton. “These findings stress the importance of continued monitoring of women who are exposed to fertility drugs.”

Source: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, MedicalNewsToday


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