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Cancer survivors have a good chance of conceiving

Published: 19 Jul 2013

According to a new study, female survivors of childhood cancer face a 50 per cent higher risk of infertility - defined as attempting to conceive for a year or more without success - than other women.

However, it was discovered that this does not substantially alter their chances of eventually conceiving - nearly two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors who reported that they were infertile managed to become pregnant within 18 months of trying.

Dr Lisa Diller, chief medical officer at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, said: "Most women think that if they had cancer as a child, then they'll never have children. It turns out that many of them can get pregnant. It just might be a little harder."

The report's writers claim this represents the first large-scale study of pregnancy outcomes for female childhood cancer survivors. Lead author Dr Sara Barton argues previous research "used surrogate markers" - for instance, looking at birth figures rather than at intent to conceive.


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