A study found that pregnancy risks are heightened if a woman is a cancer survivor
The North Carolina focused study, published in the journal JAMA Oncology, focused on 15,000 births to teen and young adult women between the ages of 15 to 39. Specifically the study compared 2,600 births by cancer survivors and 13,000 births with women who had not had cancer.
“We found that women were more likely to deliver preterm if they’ve been treated for cancer overall, with greater risks for women who had chemotherapy,” explained Hazel Nichols, the study’s author and assistant professor at the University of North Carolina, in a university news release.
Among the risks that cancer survivors could potentially face during pregnancy, as per the study, are preterm birth, cesarean delivery and low birth weight infants.
The study’s significance is especially noteworthy because it allows doctors to properly monitor and educate pregnant cancer survivors on warning signs or controllable factors during their pregnancies.
Nichols further explained,
“These are risks that are important to understand, but also should be considered in light of the fact that these women went on to start their families, or complete their families. So that’s a very positive event.”
In some cases women are encouraged to freeze eggs prior to cancer treatment. The study’s data will also allow for a more comprehensive conversation, on what medical options may be, for women who are pregnant or hope to one day become pregnant.