IVF doesn't increase cancer risk – study

18 February 2013

Fertility IVF treatment does not increase the risk of some cancers in women, research in the US suggests.

A team at the National Cancer Institute found in vitro fertilisation does not increase the risk of breast and gynaecological cancer diagnosis in their study of Israeli women.

Fertility treatments such as IVF can use ovulation-stimulating drugs or puncturing of the ovaries to retrieve eggs, procedures some have thought could heighten women's' risk of cancer.

But this study, by the institute's hormonal and reproductive epidemiology branch, found little connection between fertility treatments and cancer.

"The findings were fairly reassuring. Nothing was significantly elevated," lead author Louise Brinton told Reuters Health.

The team did find that a woman's risk of ovarian cancer diagnosis increased slightly per the rounds of treatment she received, but Brinton said this could have been due to chance.

A study at Lund University in Sweden also found a similar connection, but researchers there said any increased ovarian cancer risk might be due to dysfunctional ovaries.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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