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Fertility drugs and breast cancer

New research pushing for mammograms prior to starting fertility treatments
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Couple hands making heart shape.

GRAND BLANC, Mich. — When you're struggling with infertility it's most likely to focus of your life. And the last thing you're probably thinking about is breast cancer. 

But if you're planning to go through fertility treatments then you should consider getting a mammogram before you start them.

A new study recommends that women under 40 who plan to use assisted reproductive technology should get a mammogram before to detect any asymptomatic breast cancer that may potentially get worse with infertility treatments.

Researchers from the University of California found that women who undergo fertility treatments have more than double the rate of breast cancer.

Researchers say it's because the fertility drugs require exposures to high levels of synthetic estrogen to increase fertility. Some breast cancers thrive on estrogen, even synthetic estrogen. Which raises concerns that infertility treatments may exacerbate the growth of undiagnosed breast cancers. 

However, while there are currently no guidelines for breast cancer screening for women considering fertility treatments. Researchers are recommending women under talk with their doctors about getting a mammogram before they start fertility treatments.

If you'd like to join this conversation you can find it on Facebook at 13 Friends For Life.