Lack of Evidence Linking IVF & Long-Term Risk of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common malignancy world-wide among women. Long-term follow-up studies for risk of breast cancer after IVF treatment have raised concerns but have ultimately been inconclusive due to the limited follow-up. Further, association studies in infertility often compare infertile women to non-infertile women, which is not an ideal comparison group when attempting to understand the relationship between treatment of infertility and possible long-term effects. This study provides long-term follow-up of a group of infertile patients, some of whom underwent IVF and some who underwent other infertility treatment. Those who underwent IVF were compared to those who underwent other infertility treatments and were also compared to the general population or those who had not undergone any infertility treatment. After following patients for a median of 21 years, there was no increased risk of invasive breast cancer in those who had IVF compared to those infertile patients who underwent other infertility treatment or compared to people who did not have infertility. Although continued close observation is important in all aspects of medical care, the absence of a significant increase in long-term risk of breast cancer among IVF-treated women is reassuring and based in a well-designed study with long-term follow-up.
RESPONSE TO PUBLISHED ARTICLE: Evidence Lacking on Relation Between IVF and Long-Term Risk of Breast Cancer