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Assisted reproduction cancer links explained

Wednesday July 4th, 2018

Researchers studying cancer risk from fertility treatment have found no evidence of a causal link.

In the first study, Yahia Al-Jebari of Lund University in Sweden, and colleagues examined the risk of prostate cancer in subfertile men after fertility treatment with intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

They analysed three comprehensive nationwide registries in Sweden, with a total of almost 1.2 million men who either became fathers naturally or with the treatment.

The men who had the treatment were at a 47% increased risk of prostate cancer. Findings were presented yesterday (3 July) at the Annual Meeting of The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, in Barcelona, Spain.

The authors say this shows an "immense risk for early-onset prostate cancer", which is "generally considered more aggressive". They say the risk most likely shares a common cause with the subfertility -rather than being due to the procedure.

The second study looked at assisted reproduction and ovarian cancer. It reached a similar conclusion - that female infertility, rather than ovarian stimulation, is linked to an increased risk of cancer.

Also presented at the Annual Meeting of The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, the nationwide study from Denmark included 58,472 women given assisted reproduction treatment and 549,210 non-treated women.

It found that a reported increase in ovarian cancer risk is actually due to parity status, cause of infertility and vigilance.

The researchers report that assisted reproduction "was not associated with a long-term increased risk of ovarian cancer which would be expected if caused by ovarian stimulating hormones.”

Tags: Cancer | Childbirth and Pregnancy | Europe | Men's Health | Nursing & Midwifery | Pharmaceuticals | Women's Health & Gynaecology

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