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October 18th, 2011
06:45 AM ET

No proven IVF-cancer link, doctors say

E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic's efforts to conceive have been the main theme of her reality show "Giuliana and Bill." On Monday she revealed she has to postpone her next round of IVF after her new fertility expert insisted she get screened for breast cancer, even though she is only 36 years old.

Rancic said, on the Today Show,  that her doctor told her "I don't care if you're 26, 36. I won't get you pregnant if there is a small risk you have cancer. If you get pregnant it can accelerate the cancer. The hormones accelerate the cancer."

Her doctor may have been taking the step as a precaution.

"There’s no evidence for a link between breast cancer and infertility treatment," says Dr. Eric Widra, who chairs the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology. A 2005 study looked at a possibility but the study authors concluded a link to breast or ovarian cancer had not been found.

Dr. George Sledge, co-director of breast cancer treatment at Indiana University’s Simon Cancer Center, says there are no good data to show that IVF accelerates breast cancer. "Not having a child and infertility in itself increases the risk for breast cancer," he says. Sledge isn’t familiar with Rancic’s medical history, but he says the younger you are when you have your first child, the less likely you are to have breast cancer.

"Breast cancer at 36 is rare, and it’s fortunate for her that it was detected early," says Widra, a physician at Shady Grove Fertility in Washington, D.C.  However, he doesn't agree with Rancic's doctor that women in their 20s or 30s should get a mammogram before starting IVF. The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends the same guidelines as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, he says:  Begin screening at the age of 40, unless there’s family history.

But it appears things can vary from clinic to clinic. Dr. Andrew Toledo, a fertility specialist at Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta, says in his clinic, "We want a baseline mammogram [for our patients] between 35 and 40, unless they have a family history."

Rancic had previously undergone two rounds of IVF. The second did result in a pregnancy, which ended in a miscarriage. She says she plans to try to get pregnant again after having surgery this week and undergoing six weeks of radiation treatment.

Sledge, who is the past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, says the use of estrogen in general in women who’ve had breast cancer makes doctors nervous because some cancers are fueled by hormones.

But Widra says women who have successfully completed their cancer treatment can try to get pregnant again, typically five years after they have been disease-free. Widra, who is not familiar with Rancic’s specific case, points out that even after surgery and radiation, breast cancer patients may need to undergo even more treatments, like taking the drug tamoxifen, which can reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back by blocking the activity of estrogen in the breast if the breast cancer is fueled by estrogen – not all cancers are.

When a woman tries to get pregnant after undergoing breast cancer, her  treatment needs to be individualized, says Dr. Mitch Rosen, director of the  Fertility Preservation Center at the University of California-San Francisco. He says he sees many patients facing this question and he says it’s incredibly important that women receive good counseling. “It depends on your cancer, your age, what kind of cancer you have,” he says. If a woman has the type of tumor that is fueled by estrogen, tamoxifen (or other hormone-disrupting drugs) need to be taken for five years.

If a cancer patient is 22, Rosen says he would recommend she wait the full five years before trying to get pregnant. If she’s 38, for example, getting pregnant gets harder with age – then,  he says, he would probably recommend taking the hormone-blocking medication for tw0 years, taking a break to get pregnant, and then resuming the drug for three more years.

If a patient has a type of cancer that is not dependent on hormones to grow, then surgery and radiation are usually followed by chemotherapy to kill any lingering cancer cells.

In those cases, Rosen says he recommends that his patients wait at least six months, better a whole year, before trying IVF again, just to reduce the possibility of birth defects caused by the cancer treatment.

Patients need to talk to their doctor and be made aware of the risks and options, so they can be comfortable with their decision on when and whether they should undergo IVF again.


soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Dr Bill Toth

    makes for good drama for the show

    October 18, 2011 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juan Torres

      Most cancers are caused by a high acid diet ( junk food ) and or chemicals. make your body more alkaline by eating 90 percent alkaline (fruits and vegetables) and 20 percent acids ( meat, beans, bread etc ). Google this " Baking soda for a cancer cure ". Om Shanti.

      October 18, 2011 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
    • Tonelok

      @Juan Torres
      Most cancers are genetically inherited. Also, friuts and veggies can be very acidic. Where do you get your information? What particular cancers are food related? I suppose a couple, but lung, ovarian, testicular, [insert organ] have all been linked to different things. Please don't give advice without knowning anything about it.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:19 | Report abuse |
    • Gort01

      Hmmm.. Good Drama you say.....well I say sour grapes, he (her dr) is absolutely right to get mamogram after 2 rounds of IVF....there should be a baseline before beginning IVF and at the end of the IVF Process.. Its all good and well for male drs to "oh this is nonsense",,,its not their breasts, their lives or their bodies. If this was testicle cancer or penis cancer, theyd be singing for early testing....grow up doctors, start caring about us.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • CharlieB

      If this can safe just one woman life it is worth any amount of drama

      October 18, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      The whole alkaline diet is a bunch of hogwash. Food can only impact your pH of your urine. pH of your blood and other organs is tightly regulated, and slight deviation prevent the enzyme's present in the area to lose their functional tertiary structure. This means your pH of various organs stays very close to a certain pH or you die. Read some actual scientific journals and search Mayo Clinic's stance on alkaline diet to learn more.

      – A Microbiology graduate student.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      It's sad how ignorant most of you are to the science behind cancer. I bet many of you couldn't even give me the definition of cancer without looking it up. If your going to spout facts on a disease like cancer then please get the facts from peer reviewed journals or books, not webmd or wikipedia.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      This article missed the point of Guilianna's comment and her doctor's concern. Many forms of breast cancer are hormone-receptor positive which grow faster in the presence of higher levels of estrogen and other natural hormones. If Guilianna had become pregnant then her breast cancer would have grown much faster because of the hormones associated with pregnancy NOTTTT IVF. She was not saying that IVF would have caused her cancer to get worse, she said that being pregnant would have.

      October 18, 2011 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      @Jaun Torres – I agree with you, animal products cause your body to become acidic to the point that calcium from bones is used to balance the ph. Fruits and vegetables, especially raw veg does not do this. it is sad to see how many people are in denial about the links between animal products and cancer. One only has to speak to cancer survivors about what they eat and they will tell you how they have increased the amount of fruit and veg in their diets since developing cancer. And @Tonelok – As far as most cancers being genetically inherited – simply not true! And there is no evidence to back that up.

      October 18, 2011 at 18:20 | Report abuse |
  2. Bev

    I totally disagree. I went through IVF treatments 18 years ago and I was diagnosed with breast cancer during the treatments. I truly believe there is a definite link between the two.

    October 18, 2011 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • marty

      That is called a "coincidence". It happens.

      October 18, 2011 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd420

      What you had is an observation and you have one data point that correlates together. However, correlation does not equal causation.

      October 18, 2011 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
    • Hey

      Were you eating during the treatments? If so, I believe it is the eating that caused the cancer. To stop cancer just simply stop eating!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
    • Benzin

      YOu must not have taken stats in high school. A sample size of one is not at all a good study. And then there is the matter of correlation versus causation. There tend to be more police officers in cities with high crime rates, but police officers don't cause crime (unless the city has some real problems), but they are CORRELATED with increased crime.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
    • NG1073

      I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer at the age of 29 after a failed IVF attempt. I don't really care how these Dr's want to spin it, IVF hormones CAN and DO cause breast cancer. I have no family history and have one healthy daugher at home. Women need to be made aware of these risks.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • steve

      I agree. Friends have gone thru this exact same thing. No family history of cancer. Their systems were flooded with hormones to increase chances of fertilization. Breast cancer followed. This really needs to studied, NOW!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • Sydney

      IVF has been around for roughly 30 years, and the vast majority of IVF patients don't get breast cancer.

      There are many risk factors linked to breast cancer. Alcohol, smoking, weight, diet, pollution, pesticides, and what substances your mother was exposed to when pregnant with you are among just a few. There are hormones in meat. There are hormone-altering substances in certain plastics. There are almost certainly links between various genes and the environment that have not been discovered yet. Cancer is complex. One individual experience never confirms a cause.

      And for anyone who isn't aware, MOST breast cancer is diagnosed in women without a family history of it.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      As a breast cancer survivor with a estrogen sensitive cancer I found out my cancer risk got elevated when the gynecologist prescribing a low dose estrogen pill during my late teens for menstrual irregularities ( I had low progesterone & it was the wrong hormone). I am also painfully aware that progesterone therapy for fertility treatments can result in uterine cancer. My best friend died of uterine cancer after her non board certified fertility specialist shot her up with progesterone for 20 years. IVF patients are exposed to HIGH levels of hormones, plus they might have been treated by other doctors previously without proper blood tests like me.
      I agree with Bev; we are dealing with very powerful hormones that do carry a risk. This news anchor's fertility specialist deserves a lot of credit for getting her screened. Having had previous IVF treatments put her into a totally different risk group. He did not want to take a chance of accelerating a hormone sensitive cancer & getting her pregnant with cancer. Most hormone sensitive cancers are quick growing & deadly. If left untreated mine would have killed me in 90 days. It advanced to stage 2 in just 20 days & without chemotherapy there was a 95% chance the cancer would come back. I was not taking any hormones when my cancer emerged....Now imagine how fast the cancer could have grown with hormones to spur it on!
      Her doctor probably saved her life & she should be thanking him for being a good doctor who cares deeply about his patients. I wish my friend had had a doctor like him. It's been 5 years now, I miss her so much.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
  3. John

    Link or no link she has a Dr. that cares about her future.

    October 18, 2011 at 07:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gort01

      I totally agree with you, he was righ on to insist....thank you dr for saivng her life. and not seeing her a a baby carrier...but as a woman, a person,,,,

      October 18, 2011 at 10:31 | Report abuse |
  4. Jess

    I dont see why some Doctors want to argue with having an "early" mammogram...its just a test and it you can afford it, find a place to do it for free or your insurance covers it, why not have one done "early"?

    October 18, 2011 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BioHzrd420

      Because then it becomes unnecessary testing.

      October 18, 2011 at 08:47 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Screening at young ages without a family history has a high risk of two things: the odds of a false positive go way up (wasting money and causing unnecessary stress), and the exposure to your tissue goes up (which can cause cancer in and of itself). The recommendations are there because the realistic cost to patients on average is too high to screen early, unless there is some family history to suggest the potential of real, true positives to the test.

      October 18, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • BioHzrd420

      BTW, that mammogram ain't free. You may not have to pay for it, but the insurance will have to and then we have a burden of cost with lots of people getting a test they don't need and someone is going to have to pay the bill.

      October 18, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Chris, women who are diagnosed young have a higher mortality rate. I was dx at 26 with no family history, genetic or otherwise. My doctor point blank told me that I would have been dead before my baseline at 40. There are no methods to screen younger women AND THERE SHOULD BE. Digital mammograms greatly reduce the exposure but most doctors won't use them on younger women as a first resort. I had an ultrasound before my mammogram when I found my lump so my exposure would be reduced and the ultrasound showed NOTHING. I was stage IIA by the time I was diagnosed. There has to be focus and attention drawn to the fact that women do get BC before age 30 and die more often from it than a woman in their 50s or 60s who are able to be screened. Please do self exams regardless of what the scientific community or the government says. They are our only option!

      October 18, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • Sydney

      Because it is not a risk-free test. You're exposed to radiation, however minor. There is also a relatively high rate of false positives, meaning you end up having an unnecessary biopsy, with the risk that then creates.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
  5. turt

    only cause we can afford it.

    October 18, 2011 at 08:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. up1652

    So there is no bigotry or hate with any other race. Your'e an idiot.

    October 18, 2011 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. shauna

    link or no link this is truly sad. A young young woman has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is unable to become pregnant and probably never will be able to in a healthy and safe way. This truly is sad in my opinion. I wish her luck and a speedy recovery. My prayers go out to her and her family

    October 18, 2011 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Adoption.

      October 18, 2011 at 08:54 | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      Chris – Not that simple.

      Here's our experience: Adoption # 1 – birth mother lied about her intention to place the baby for adoption; she was just looking for financial support while she was pregnant. (It wasn't just that she changed her mind after the baby was born – we know sometimes that happens even the birth mom was sincerely intending to place, and that's her right.)

      Adoption # 2 – birth mother lied about the situation with the birth father. After she finally came clean and he was served with a notice of the adoption plan, he contested and our attorney advised us that we had 0% chance of the adoption going forward.

      Adoption #3 – birth mother lied about drug use. The baby was born full-term, less than 4 pounds, with very high levels of cocaine in her system. We never would have asked to be considered for that situation had we known the truth up front.

      The costs of all that (home study fees, legal fees, travel fees, etc.)? $30,000, and still no baby. It was AFTER that, not before, that we turned to IVF...

      October 19, 2011 at 01:22 | Report abuse |
  8. Sarah

    So Sad. Why Doesnt she just have a surrogate carry a child for her? She has enough money, and while it would suck not to be able to experience carrying a child, it would probably be safer than putting her body through IVF after doing the radiation. She would still get the baby she wants, and it might be better for someone else to carry it, especially if she has any sort of post cancer treatment meds still running though her body. Just a thought :-)

    October 18, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amy

      Sarah, to use a surrogate you actually still have to go through IVF. You still have to take all of the hormone injections and have the egg retrieval surgery. The fertilized embryos are then transferred into the surrogate's uterus. In order to avoid the hormone injections entirely, she'd have to adopt.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Ohhh Gotcha :-)

      October 18, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
    • kirstyloo

      If she had embryos from a previous cycle, she could use them. In addition, she might end up having to use an egg donor. Many cancer treatments impact fertility and egg quality. A number of female cancer survivors end up turning to egg donation to start/complete their families.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
  9. Use Common Sense

    She hadn't begun IVF so why is CNN writing about a possible link in her case? Just another story editor handing the reluctant reporter a stupid assignment? Maybe, as the saying goes, they think a dumb article like this "sells soap".

    October 18, 2011 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lolanyc

      She DID have IVF TWICE before. This was going to be her 3rd attempt! I would say that last round of IVF she had where she bled and was rushed to the hospital was so scarey, made me think having a kid just isnt worth the risk. I know she wants one with her husband they have a great relationship.. but the chemicals made her ovaries huge and over stimulated. I wonder if there was a connection.. or maybe she already had the small cancer and it moved along faster ... all that estrogen is bad for a body. I feel for her and Bill. She just needs to get better. Wait to try again..

      October 18, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse |
    • ReadingComprehension

      She had previously had two IVF treatments. She was beginning her third. Durrr learn to read, please.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:35 | Report abuse |
  10. Sara

    @Use Common Sense Juliana has done two rounds of IVF treatments already. She was due to begin her third round. Do you watch their show?

    October 18, 2011 at 09:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Brad

    Look how tan she is, probably goes to tanning beds all the time. I wonder if that could have anything to do with it? It's a proven fact, that tanning bads, if badly abused, can literaly cook your insides. Well, the sun can cause skin cancer, maybe tanning beds can cause cancers to? Well, either way, I hope she makes it, cancer is just plane scarey.

    October 18, 2011 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Orange Pekoe

      The truth is ANY use of tanning beds is a risk facter just as any exposure to the sun wihtout protection of some sort, either clothing or sunscreen, is a risk factor for skin cancer. As for skin cancer causing anythng else, I've not read of any but there may be additional risks not apparent at this point in time.

      As for this lady- being part of a show which is soley about her getting pregnant through IVF-I can think of few things more boring or ridiculous.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:24 | Report abuse |
    • Keri

      Don't jump to conclusions, she's Italian.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:26 | Report abuse |
    • ReadingComprehension

      There are products (creams) that give you the tanned appearance without the use of sun/tanning beds.

      October 18, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Orange Pekoe – You've obviously never had to deal with the heartbreak of infertility, or had a good friend/sister/cousin go through it either. It's far from boring or ridiculous.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
  12. zzz

    Her doctor was talking about a link between pregnancy and breast cancer, not IVF and breast cancer. Hormones during pregnancy can cause breast cancer (if present) to spread rapidly. This article is missing the point.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jholmar

      Exactly!

      October 18, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      Plus breast cancer before 50 that is not genetic is often hormone positive. Being pregnant while having a estrogen or progesterone sensitive cancer speeds the growth of the cancer as the hormone levels rise due to the pregnancy. It is like pouring gasoline on a fire. Hormone sensitive cancers are already fast growth cancers. Mine advanced from stage 1 to stage 2 in just 20 days. Without treatment I would have died in 90 days. Had I been pregnant, I would have been unlikely to survive more than a month. This lady is extremely lucky she has a caring physician who made her get screened.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
  13. lgbarn

    I don't really care if there is a link or if some doctor agrees with him. Bottom line is he saved her life. As for adoption, it is a very noble thing and I support it but for many poeple, they just want to haave their own child. It's in our our DNA to have soeone like ourselves. I wish her luck in beating cancer and possibly having children in the future.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. jen

    If hormones from pregnancy can excelerate cancer, why can't IVF treatments excelerate cancer or even cause it?

    October 18, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      Seems logical to me. I just think of Elizabeth Edwards pumping herself full of hormones twice at an advanced age. Not a great idea, sorry.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
  15. Larry L

    People dislike learning about risks and often want to "shoot the messenger". Even today some smokers will question the relationship between smoking and illness – they like to refer to somebody they knew who smoked three packs a day and lived to be 100. Denial...

    Recently I've heard politicians talk about the damage to "jobs" caused by certain laws designed to protect consumers from known pollutants or other risks associated with disease and illness. I wonder if politicians have a method of determining the appropriate level of protection based on some sort of jobs per death rule? Are 10,000 jobs worth 3 cases of childhood cancer? Four cases? How about ten? Conversely, if a drug kills one in a thousand people who take the treatment – yet cures many of the others of a previously incurable disease – should it be banned? Management of risks if tough.

    What about the researcher who discovers some environmental exposure that "doubles the risks" of a particular illness? People spin out of control ignoring the fact that the initial incidence of the disease might be something like 1 case per million people in the control group – doubled to 2 cases per million after exposure to the risk. True, it sucks to be the additional person to suffer the affliction, but the risk should be understood in terms of the costs of controlling it and the possible benefit of whatever the thing was that caused the exposure. Risks and benefits come from things like pesticides, gasoline, cleaning solvents, vaccines, drugs, etc. People need to understand the risks, prevent any unnecessary exposures, and take their educated chances as an informed adult if they feel the benefits outweigh the risks.

    Unfortunately, that process can't work well with poorly educated consumers, high profits from unsafe products, unfunded consumer protection agencies, a media system to sensationalize the problem, and personal injury lawyers hiding under every rock. Public Health work is challenging...

    October 18, 2011 at 10:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • kirstyloo

      I wish that I could 'like' this thoughtful post.

      October 18, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Europe is doing a better job of it than we are here. They have banned over a thousand chemicals in personal care products that are allowed in the US.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
  16. guest

    perhaps if she ate a cheeseburger every now and then she wouldn't have so much trouble getting pregnant.

    October 18, 2011 at 10:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ReadingComprehension

      I'm sure cow hormones would do the trick. :|

      October 18, 2011 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Guest, you sound jealous and overweight.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • Katande

      You are absolutely ignorant in saying eat a slab of meat.

      what the world and meat industry doesn't tell you is all the studies that would show the link between eating any kind of meat and cancer....

      keep eating your burgers.......gt back to me in 10 years and let me know all your health problems......

      October 18, 2011 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
  17. Pat Lawless

    This is a typical poorly written CNN article. I don't watch the show, so I don't know the history of this woman. Did she have cancer at one point? The way the article is written, it at first appears that her doctor just arbitrarily ordered her to get screened for breast cancer for no particular reason. It's not until much later that a paragraph states "Breast cancer at 36 is rare, and it’s fortunate for her that it was detected early," This makes it sound like she did have cancer. Did she or didn't she? And what was the outcome of that? Do you people not have editors?

    October 18, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amom

      The answers to your questions are in the last half of the article.

      October 18, 2011 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Wow, reading comprehension seems to be a lost art on this thread. Seriously, all the info was in the article.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
  18. Amom

    Hormones and cancer. I have always suspected birth control pills and hormones prescribed for menopausal women to be cancer related. Is there any research on that?

    October 18, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      They have been researching birth control pills for FIFTY YEARS and never found a link to cancers. With hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in menopausal women, they found a link so quickly and convincingly that when they stopped using it, and certain cancer rates went down in the overall population of women that age group.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:47 | Report abuse |
    • Really Jersey

      The use of estrogen alone without progesterone to balance it before age 24 permanently elevates the risk of breast cancer. Using any form of hormone pill for more than 10 years also elevates the risk of breast & uterine cancer...I found out these facts on the American Cancer Society website just a few months after being diagnosed with an estrogen sensitive cancer. I had taken low dose estrogen in my teens for menstrual irregularity.
      Then, 5 years after my cancer diagnosis, my ob/gyn prescribed estrogen for my daughter without doing any tests to find out what was causing her irregularity...... I ripped up the prescription & took her to an endocrinologist who found she had a low level of PROGESTERONE, just like me. The proper treatment for our conditions was actually progesterone.
      This time I knew better than to repeat history,& we demanded a real diagnosis before treating it. We also switched gynecologists after I looked up his certification history. We found out he was just an M.D. who had hung up a specialist's shingle without board certification. The doctor who treated me in my teens was also not board certified. Some coincidence!

      October 18, 2011 at 14:14 | Report abuse |
  19. John

    I'd be curious to find out if they have her on a drug to make her ovulate. Anyone know if they still use Clomed? I know that specific drug has been linked to major birth defects.

    October 18, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sage

      I used clomid once and I thought my tubes were going to explode. After that, I said never. These doctors play a mind game. I eventually got pregnant naturally. I changed my lifestyle and that was it.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
  20. Tom, Long Beach, California

    my sister passed in June of Melanoma 18 months after givcing birth with cancer. She got pregnanat and then got cancer but lost the baby. Upon tyring again, she was warned it could be a huge issue. she got pregnanat and the cancer returned fighting it all the way....radiation, c-section, chemo, a myriad of test treatments and we lost her. Do not get preganant with any cancer in your system period. baby is ok now except he has no mommy!

    October 18, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. sage

    IVF is big business $$$$$$$. They will never link the potential risk to cancer in the near or future.

    October 18, 2011 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Liz

      I couldn't agree with you more. I worked with data for breast cancer trials for approximately 6 years and saw a significant number of women who had IVF then shorly after, developed VERY aggressive forms of breast cancer. In 2007 I mentioned my observations to one of the Oncologists I worked with in the hopes they might start tracking previous IVF as a stratification factor when patients enrolled in breast cancer studies. I was shot down by the MD but repeatedly told my co-workers, "Just you wait,eventually, IVF will be determined to be a cause for breast cancer." Reproductive Medicine is such a huge money maker, no one wants to be the bad guy who killed that Golden Goose.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Liz-I agree with you completely. I have always felt it was a potential cause of Elizabeth Edward's disease. It is just very unnatural, especially at older ages.

      October 18, 2011 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • Katande

      AMEN!!!

      LOVE how this study was reported by a IVF DR....

      can we say JADED???

      It took 6 YEARS for the medical Assoc in Cali to disbarr the idiot IVF Dr for "Octo mom'...

      It is a HUGE money maker unfortunately for women desperate to have a baby and will go to any lengths...

      October 19, 2011 at 01:25 | Report abuse |
  22. anobody

    This article is hilarious! I love examples that shows how profoundly that most people do not pay attention. Her doctor did NOT at any point in the process say that IVF is linked to cancer. Her doc simply stated (which IS factual BTW) that when a women is pregnant the elevated hormones may accelerate cancer growth, all true. Her doc at no point said that there was a link between IVF and cancer, let me repeat Her doc at no point said that there was a link between IVF and cancer. The doc has a policy that requires basic cancer screening before he will perform the IVF procedure, her doc is proactive which is a good thing considering the patients age. She is an older female so his proactive methodology is sound.

    This reminds me of that long running joke about the mattress police and removing a mattress tag. The truth is that you CAN remove the tag because it says "Unlawful to remove EXCEPT BY CONSUMER" so retailers cannot but consumers can.

    October 18, 2011 at 16:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Rain

    Living causes cancer

    October 18, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. IVFgal

    As others intelligently understood...the RE (reproductive endocrinologist) demanded that she have a breast cancer screening because being pregnant can accelerate if she had breast cancer. It was not due to undergoing IVF treatment as to why her RE demanded it. She was under the care of an RE in Colorado (CCRM) which requires all their patients over the age of 35 to have this screening. Another user asked about Clomid. Yes, that is still around and is frequently rx to women who do not ovulate and are trying to concieve. However, Clomid doesn't solve everyone's infertility issues. For example, if the man has issues with his counts IVF may be the only way a couple can have children. If the woman is missing her tubes she will need IVF. None of us know this patients medical reasons of why she needed IVF. Additionally someone ignorantly pointed out if she ate a burger she might be able to get pregnant. Weight issues can cause a woman to not get her menstral cycle and ovulate. But weight isn't always, and rarely is the fertility issue when the woman is a factor. Some women don't ovulate and are healthy weight. Ovulation is critical to trying to concieve but it is just one factor. I suppose most people here will never understand what it means to go through IVF unless you've been through it yourself. And most people don't understand what it takes to get pregnant unless they have been having fertility issues themselves.

    October 18, 2011 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Katande

    I find it absolutely laughable that this Dr who SPECIALIZES in fertility and IVF comes out with this bogus study.
    He absolutely should not be the person determining the link and is jaded in his motive for saying there is no link.

    Not only was she being pumped full of hormones but also had breast implsnts....another big risk factor for breast vs.

    I am waiting for the day when the whole world wakes up and realizes ALL of these cancers and heart disease are linked to eating meats....we were not made to consume mass production and mats of ANYTHING....and it is disgusting to think eating animals is healthy or needed....PERIOD

    the world of Susan Kommen is rejoicing that another big name can wear pink for breast cancer

    what a racket!!

    October 18, 2011 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Joe

    Otto Warburg stated over 100 years ago that cancer was basically the result of inflammation in the body. That is still the case. Many things can cause inflammation bu the primary culprits are poor diet (ie: refined sugars, food preservatives, etc), stress and various other environmental factors.

    October 18, 2011 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. IVFgal

    Katande – I'm sorry...where did you see in the article that Guiliana said she had breast implsnts (I assume you meant implants? You mentioned that breast 'implsnts' has a big factor in breast vs...but didn't complete this thought. Yes, I suppose having implants does give one a bigger factor in bigger breasts...isn't that the point? And I won't comment on your opinions on eating mass amounts of 'mets' (I assume you mean meats) or your feeling about people who aren't vegans or vegetarians. This article wasn't meant to be an article on eating meat and cancer by the way but I can understand you do seem rather passionate about your belief in not eating meat. Perhaps your comments fit better in an article about meat eaters and cancer links?

    October 18, 2011 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Not Phil

    Cancer is caused by a genetic change to your DNA. You can be born with it, you can be born with a susceptibility to it or radiation can cause your DNA to mutate. Meat/alkaline/pH all have nothing what so ever to do with the development of cancer. As for hormones, once a cancer seeds, it is possible that hormones might accelerate the spread/growth of cancer, and that might be worthy of further study. Positive or negative, only one study is far from sufficient regardless of topic.

    October 19, 2011 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. IVFgal

    Katande – Actually I don't have any children but am a current IVF patient so you are not correct and make assumptions about me as well as about this girl having breast implants. This article doesn't mention anything about this gal stating she had them. Have you read somewhere or seen her admit on television she has them? The rest of your comments I will ignore.

    October 19, 2011 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Unfortunately, some women can not metabolize estrogen well. When estrogen medicines, life ovulation induction drugs, are added to the women's body, it is not metabolized and can initiate the cancer process. I welcome your feedback at ivfbreastcancer.com

    November 22, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
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  38. Selma Schwendemann

    Approximately 2 million American women undergo some type of fertility treatment every year. Contrary to the intensive media coverage of fertility issues, infertility has not reached epidemic proportions. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the number of infertile married couples was actually lower in 1995 2.1 million than in 1982 2.4 million.;Infertility rates have not increased in the past three decades, but treatment protocols were forever changed the moment Louise Brown entered the world in 1978.^

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.