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Topic: Fertility drug connection???

Forum: High Risk for Breast Cancer — Due to family history, genetics, or other factors.

Posted on: May 8, 2012 07:45AM

number5 wrote:

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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May 8, 2012 07:52AM - edited May 8, 2012 07:53AM by Momof2inME

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.

Dx 11/30/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 4/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 12/21/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 1/9/2012 AC Targeted Therapy 3/7/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/7/2012 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 6/6/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 6/25/2012 Hormonal Therapy 8/6/2012
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May 8, 2012 08:00AM NancyHB wrote:

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

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." - Omar Khayyam Dx 11/22/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 12/5/2011 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 1/19/2012 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 6/12/2012 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Dx 1/27/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/15/2016 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Left Chemotherapy 3/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/21/2016 Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Dx 1/31/2017, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone
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May 8, 2012 08:10AM - edited May 8, 2012 08:11AM by SelenaWolf

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.

"... good girls never made history ..."
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May 8, 2012 08:17AM lroz0416 wrote:

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 :)

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May 8, 2012 08:28AM - edited May 8, 2012 08:29AM by SelenaWolf

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?

"... good girls never made history ..."
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May 8, 2012 08:52AM Shachar wrote:

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....

Dx 4/23/2012, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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May 8, 2012 11:40AM number5 wrote:

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

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May 8, 2012 11:45AM number5 wrote:

@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

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May 8, 2012 11:51AM RebzAmy wrote:

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

Diagnosed June 2007, IDC, Grade 3, 4-5cm lump, several lymph nodes involved, HER2+++, 4 months of high strength chemo, mastectomy and lymph node removal, radiotherapy & a year of herceptin and recently had preventative surgery to other breast.
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May 8, 2012 06:52PM SelenaWolf wrote:

@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!
"... good girls never made history ..."
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May 8, 2012 07:02PM coraleliz wrote:

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........

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Dec 30, 2013 08:53PM Srh242 wrote:

I also got breast cancer after pregnancy . Did two ivf at 33 years old:(

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Dec 30, 2013 10:54PM farmerlucy wrote:

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.

Dx at 51 after a preventive mx that wasn't. Oncotype dx 3. 3D tattoos from Vinnie! PTSD?? You are not alone! Surgery 2/21/2012 Prophylactic mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Dx 2/24/2012, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2012 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 7/22/2012 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 4/10/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 4/14/2015 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Dec 31, 2013 03:31PM Susie123 wrote:

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. :(

Dx 12/22/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 31, 2013 04:54PM Srh242 wrote:

the podcast was interesting . But I still believe the fertility drugs are dangerous. Thanks,

A

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Jan 1, 2014 09:47PM Septmom wrote:

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.

Dx 9/11/2013 Dx 9/11/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/24/2013 Lumpectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/14/2013 AC Chemotherapy 1/10/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 5/9/2014 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/9/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Jan 2, 2014 09:34AM Janet456 wrote:

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.

Surgery 7/13/2012 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 7/25/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Grade 2
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Jan 2, 2014 10:51AM - edited Jan 2, 2014 10:55AM by SelenaWolf

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.

"... good girls never made history ..."
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Jan 3, 2014 01:30AM coraleliz wrote:

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!!!

Dx 2/28/2011, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/15/2011, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 2/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 4/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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Jan 3, 2014 11:28AM - edited Jan 3, 2014 11:29AM by Momcat1962

Diagnosed with ADH...Had 6 rounds of Clomid (generic) with two children (1994/1996)

JER. 33:3 ...ADH Surgery 7/29/2013 Lumpectomy: Left
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Jan 8, 2014 09:06PM otceb wrote:

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.

Dx 10/8/2013, DCIS, Stage 0 Dx 12/19/2013, IDC, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/30/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2014
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Jan 9, 2014 09:26AM Srh242 wrote:

Bump

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Jan 17, 2014 10:15AM 3BoyzMom wrote:

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!!  

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Jan 17, 2014 10:39AM sbelizabeth wrote:

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.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jan 17, 2014 02:57PM Srh242 wrote:

Interesting. Anyone with a lot of problems like chronic fatighe after infertility treatments?

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Jan 17, 2014 10:28PM - edited Jan 17, 2014 10:29PM by Momcat1962

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. 

JER. 33:3 ...ADH Surgery 7/29/2013 Lumpectomy: Left
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Jan 28, 2014 09:38PM Srh242 wrote:

Bump

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Jan 29, 2014 01:24AM ballet12 wrote:

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.

Surgery 7/27/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 8/2012, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR- Surgery 10/5/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Surgery 10/25/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 1/11/2013
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Jan 29, 2014 03:58PM Srh242 wrote:

Bump

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Feb 5, 2014 04:38AM agness wrote:

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

HER2+/HR-. TCHP 3/14, PCR 8/14. Proton therapy. Mets: Brain tumor to cerebellum (5 cm) 7/2015. SRS 9/15. Leptomeningeal (LM) dx 11/2015, Ommaya Reservoir/IT Herceptin 12/15. Partial brain rads 1/2016. More LM & new chemo 9/16. Stable scan 12/16

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