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Fertility drug connection???

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number5
number5 Member Posts: 6
edited August 2021 in High Risk for Breast Cancer

Hello all!  Since reading so many different forums regarding pain in BC (such as docs saying you don't get pain in BC), being 'too young' to get BC, and other sorts of dismissive things docs say-and the uninformed in general!

Let me begin by saying I do NOT have breast cancer!  I've had breast issues the past three years with having a surgical biopsy (B9), microcalcifications, and most recently (yesterday), scheduling a diagnostic mammogram because something showed up on my annual mammo last Thursday!  I've had a cyst for many years that prompted a mammogram at the age of 23-it was finally drained after my sisters BC diagnosis 7 years ago!  I'm 46 now!!

Which brings me to my subject:  How many on here that are dealing with BC, used fertility drugs?  I have 3 sisters (and 5 bros), and my sister is the ONLY person in our entire family (cousins,aunts, uncles,etc.,) that has had any form of cancer!  She and I both used fertility drugs-our other two sisters and Mom had no problems conceiving naturally, and alas, none of them have had any issues when it comes to the breasts!

Now I know that hormones are a big factor!  I'm personally on BHRT progesterone after having blood and saliva test that showed my progesterone very, very low, and my estrogen 300 times that of my progesterone!  But does all of this, plus fertility drugs play a role?

Going back, my sister and former BIL went through several rounds of IUI-both with my BIL's sperm (which was a low count), and with donor sperm-no avail!  I used Clomid for several months, did 4 rounds of IUI, and then one round (very successful-three babies later), of IVF!  That's A LOT of hormones all at once-and my body knew it!

So, anybody else out there feel there's a connection?  Don't get me wrong, if I had to I'd do it all over again, but I just wonder if there IS a connection!  Thanks for reading!

J

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Comments

  • Momof2inME
    Momof2inME Member Posts: 249
    edited May 2012
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    I do think there is a connection. I did 4 rounds of clomid and 3 IUI's. Have 2 beautiful children that I wouldn't trade for anything. I'm 37 and stage 3. Found my lump 3 months after my son turned 1 and I stopped nursing. I don't know what the connection is whether its the fertility drugs, the subsequent pregnancies, or both. But I do believe something surrounding fertility contributed or "turned on" my bc. I have connected with several women on here that had fertility treatements as well then discovered they had bc. Some while pregnant.

  • nancyhb
    nancyhb Member Posts: 235
    edited May 2012
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    I would love to see a study of this, because I was a gestational surrogate for friends 14 years ago and went through two rounds of multiple hormones to turn things on/off before ZIFT and GIFT.  Second set of treatments resulted in a pregnancy.  If I remember correctly I had to do a lot of hormones to sync my cycle with the egg donor while also turning off my ovaries.  Even before seeing this thread, I have wondered if that had anything to do with this, especially since my cancer is ER+. 

    I am not, in any way, shape or form, suggesting that women who use fertility treatments are going to get BC - there are so many potential contributing factors, and if we *knew* what caused this we wouldn't all be still trying to figure it out.  But for me, I have sincerely wondered if it was a contributing factor.

    Nancy

  • SelenaWolf
    SelenaWolf Member Posts: 231
    edited May 2012
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    It's hard to say.  My sister went through several years of fertility treatment with some pretty, heavy-duty drugs nearly twenty-five years ago and - thus far - she's okay.  Me, on-the-other hand, struggled not to get pregnant for twenty-five years and did develop breast cancer.

  • lroz0416
    lroz0416 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2012
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    Yeah - I'm with you on that. Although most research concludes that fertility drugs do not increase one's chances of getting BC, I think the verdict is still out on this. I remember reading something somewhere that said there needs to be more studies done that follow women who have had IVF treatments for a longer period of time. My hubby and I are trying to get pregnant and if we can't conceive naturally, we will definitely do fertility treatments. This is a topic of interest to me and I'll be curious to see what others have to say. Good luck to you w/ the diagnostic mammogram. It's always so scary when you have to go back for a 2nd or 3rd look, but atleast they're on top of it! Blessings :)

  • SelenaWolf
    SelenaWolf Member Posts: 231
    edited May 2012
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    I have, also, recently seen a news documentary that suggested IVF children are developing more serious, health issues over the long-term than the general population.  I don't know what they used as their references, but it was a sobering thought!  I have to wonder, though; if it's media-hype or solid research?

  • Shachar
    Shachar Member Posts: 7
    edited May 2012
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    I used Clomid for a year before conceiving my first child.  Seems I probably didn't need it because I then went on to have three more without and planning or problems.   Interesting....

  • number5
    number5 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012
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    Ciao again!  I would never discourage anybody from using fertility drugs-they helped make my dream come true!:-)  I wonder though if there is something there that some of us have in us that is triggered by certain things!  We never know if we're allergic to something until we are exposed, yet that's how we find out-but we still go about our lives before that, even though we know other people are allergic!

    I too would like to see some study or the other regarding this-though I'm afraid if they did one, people would back away from the dream of getting pregnant with the use of fertility drugs!

    These are the things I think of when I'm pondering the why BC has affected so many people!

    Grazie!! J

  • number5
    number5 Member Posts: 6
    edited May 2012
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    @Selenawolf:  Knock on wood, my three IVF boys are doing just fine-thank goodness!  My twins (who will be 12 in 2 weeks), were born 8 weeks premature, but you'd never know it by looking at them (even at birth).  My youngest will be 9 next week, and he too is doing very well! 

    I was told many years ago that IVF babies had a tendency to have more health/educational issues, but I don't know if that's because there are more multiples during one pregancy with many IVF pregnancies-or what the deal is!  My boys have thankfully thrived, as well as my eldest who was adopted at birth!  Now I have a new teen, and two on the edge!  Mamma mia! :-)

    J

  • rebzamy
    rebzamy Member Posts: 49
    edited May 2012
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    I was an egg donor for somebody - I went through the whole process three times for them which meant my body was flooded with hormones, firstly to do something called down regulating so that the person I was donating to was in synch with my body and my cycle, then I had to inject myself daily for 2-3 weeks (can't remember now) and finally the egg collection. It was a few months after the final collection I was diagnosed with breast cancer however mine was HER2+. In relation to the person I was donating to, this was a good thing because had it been hormonal cancer, they would have felt it may have been due to what I'd been through for them that caused this to happen but who knows!

    R

  • SelenaWolf
    SelenaWolf Member Posts: 231
    edited May 2012
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    @number5...My sister's first (IVF) has thrived, as well.  Nothing wrong with that boy; he's a genius!!  (Biased aunt here.)  It was funny; though, after 15 years of fertility treatments and failures, my sister had her first by IVF.  Then, when her first was 8 months old, WHAMMO!!!  She's, suddenly, pregnant with her second.  Came out of the blue; no-one was expecting it... least of all her!
  • coraleliz
    coraleliz Member Posts: 158
    edited May 2012
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    I went through infertility treatment. Clomid was implicated in ovarian cancer back when I took it 20years ago. It just gave me large cysts but no baby. I did the injectables with IUI & IVF(finally suceeded). I was later diagnosed with bilat BC. Here's my thoughts, my less than optimal hormone levels could have caused both my infertility & my cancer. Perhaps the drugs are irrelevant. I have no family history or any other risk factor other than being female. Still searching for something to blame my cancer on........

  • Srh242
    Srh242 Member Posts: 139
    edited December 2013
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    I also got breast cancer after pregnancy . Did two ivf at 33 years old:(

  • farmerlucy
    farmerlucy Member Posts: 596
    edited December 2013
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    Srh - Here is a link to a BCO podcast that discusses highlights from the San Antonio Conference held a couple weeks ago. One of the highlights was a study re: fertility treatments and BC.  http://www.breastcancer.org/community/podcasts/sabcs-20131213

    The podcasts were awesome and I thought quite hopeful.

  • Susie123
    Susie123 Member Posts: 82
    edited December 2013
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    I went through all the fertility tests / treatments in 1991/1992. Finally conceived with the help of clomid and gave birth to a healthy baby boy in 1993. My Dr told me that with a hormonal problem such as mine, wasn't ovulating, it tends to correct itself after giving birth so we might want to be careful if we didn't want a second child. Of course we ignored the Drs advice, I'd been barren for 13 years. Turns out, he was right. Had another son the very next year with no fertility drugs. But, you know, even if clomid did give me bc I wouldn't change a thing. Those boys have been the light of my life. The oldest just went back to college yesterday and I'm so sad. I've came to the realization that God doesn't give us our kids, he only loans them to us for a short period of time...that short period that seems like your forever life. :(

  • Srh242
    Srh242 Member Posts: 139
    edited December 2013
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    the podcast was interesting . But I still believe the fertility drugs are dangerous. Thanks,

    A

  • Septmom
    Septmom Member Posts: 87
    edited January 2014
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    I have no family history of BC. I did 4 rounds of IVF after doing several rounds of IUI before conceiving my son who is 9 years old now. I have wondered about the link of fertility drugs and BC. 

    Interesting thread.

  • janet456
    janet456 Member Posts: 14
    edited January 2014
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    Very interesting.  Only two people in my family got BC - myself and my aunt.  We both took Clomid.

    It was the early 90's - they took 13 eggs for IVF treatment which resulted in an ruptured ectopic.  I was nervous enough not to want to do it again so that was that and I am content with my lovely niece and nephew.  

    Years later I vowed that I would never take HRT - but I developed BC before I got to that point so it's not an option now anyway.

    Interesting thread.

  • SelenaWolf
    SelenaWolf Member Posts: 231
    edited January 2014
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    My sister spent over ten years on Clomid/various fertility treatments before she managed to conceive.  She had two boys after the age of 40 and breast-fed one.  She has never developed breast cancer and is, now, nearly 60 years old.  My mother had four children before the age of 34 and breast-fed all, then spent ten years on HRT after her hysterectomy (at age 50).  She developed breast cancer at age 74.  I never had children, fertility treatments or HRT.  I developed breast cancer at age 50.  Go figure.

    I think that we can drive ourselves nuts trying to figure out how we "got" cancer, but the truth is it's a nasty side effect being complex, multi-cellular organisms.

  • coraleliz
    coraleliz Member Posts: 158
    edited January 2014
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    I "confess" to infertility treatments. My thought is that whatever caused my infertility(never clearly defined & the specialists never agreed with one another) might have played a part in my BC. I had bilateral BC from the start. The surgeon was surprised since bilateral disease is usually found in women with a family history. Everytime I see her, she asks me about my sisters. Nope, neither one has BC & neither one ever had kids. My BC struggles pale in comparison to my infertility struggles. I'll hold my rant, after all my infertility tratments ended 14years ago. I have one son living & feel very blessed. If it caused my BC, it was worth it!!!

  • momcat1962
    momcat1962 Member Posts: 172
    edited January 2014
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    Diagnosed with ADH...Had 6 rounds of Clomid (generic) with two children (1994/1996)

  • otceb
    otceb Member Posts: 129
    edited January 2014
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    I just noticed this thread and had never thought about the possible connection between fertility drugs and BC, but it makes sense. I hope studies are being done about this!  I did one round of IVF in 2007/2008 and it was successful (one son who is now 5, healthy and thriving). However, BC/OC runs in my family so that one round might not be a huge factor in my case.

  • Srh242
    Srh242 Member Posts: 139
    edited January 2014
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    Bump

  • 3BoyzMom
    3BoyzMom Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2014
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    I hadn't given infertility any thought in years...until reading this!  I have no family history of BC and Mom and Sister did not have any infertility issues.  I, on the other hand, ovulated infrequently contributing to my infertility.  I had 4 pregnancies... 2 of which achieved with Chlomid in '98 and '99 and two without (was told giving birth sometimes corrects those issues).  I had tubes tied in my last c-section in '06 and have been REGULAR since - first time in my life!  Amazing how your body reacts to certain things.  Anyway, I was just diagnosed with LCIS in November and had a lumpectomy to remove it.  It didn't invade the healthy tissue and was removed so this week I started Tamoxifen.  Doing lots of reading and wondering whether there is a link to Chlomid??  We have to remember that there are lots of different kinds of BC and even if there is a link, the possibility exists that Chlomid isn't the 'lone' factor.  Just interesting and would love to find out more about this.  As others have stated, I wouldn't trade my kids (or Chlomid use to achieve them) for anything!  Chlomid allowed me to get pregnant which helped my ovulation issues and helped me to get pregnant without it twice more and then having tubes tied helped me to become regular!  Go figure!!  

  • sbelizabeth
    sbelizabeth Member Posts: 956
    edited January 2014
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    My sister and I both took clomid and we both got breast cancer in our 50's.  My mother never took infertility treatments and she got breast cancer in her 60's and again in her 70's.  This would be an interesting genetic/drug study.

  • Srh242
    Srh242 Member Posts: 139
    edited January 2014
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    Interesting. Anyone with a lot of problems like chronic fatighe after infertility treatments?

  • momcat1962
    momcat1962 Member Posts: 172
    edited January 2014
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    Because I was on Clomid that resulted in two successful conceptions, I researched it. There really isn't much out there to suggest that Clomid and a BC are related but who knows for sure. They may need more studies. 

  • Srh242
    Srh242 Member Posts: 139
    edited January 2014
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    Bump

  • ballet12
    ballet12 Member Posts: 66
    edited January 2014
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    Hi, I researched fertility drugs after a previous diagnosis of ADH, and prior to doing fertility treatments.  I found that if one succeeds at a pregnancy, that the risk of the fertility drugs causing problems later was low.  The research (many years ago), indicated a possible increase in risk of ovarian cancer, but not breast cancer. I don't know what the current literature says.  I do know that hormone replacement therapy has definitively shown risk of breast cancer, and literally a drop in incidence once HRT usage dropped a number of years ago.

  • Srh242
    Srh242 Member Posts: 139
    edited January 2014
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    Bump

  • agness
    agness Member Posts: 406
    edited February 2014
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    I had infertility from fibroids and luteal phase defect. My partner and I chose to not take ART meds and pursued natural treatment options including vitamins, herbs, and for me a lot of acupuncture TCM. 

    One acupuncturist was able to shrink my fibroid after 4 months of treatment and I was able to conceive. Trying to conceive my second child I returned for TCM treatment and had a similar diagnosis, plus I was more depleted than before my first baby.

    Im more of an opinion that the same constitutional issues that led to the fiboid and infertility created an environment that was also conducive towards development of a malignancy and tumor -- especially given the additional deficiencies that carrrying to term and caring for two young boys contributed.

    Make sense?

    Ann