A large study found a 25% lower risk of breast cancer in women who have had fertility problems compared to women who didn't have fertility problems. It's not clear if this difference in risk is because of hormonal differences or other factors.
This research offers reassurance that infertility treatments do NOT increase breast cancer risk.
Because infertility treatments generally involve hormones, it's reasonable to wonder whether they might increase breast cancer risk. In this study, women who received infertility treatments had the lowest likelihood of developing breast cancer. It's important to note that the results don't mean that infertility drugs help lower breast cancer risk. It may be that the women who received infertility drugs also had the biggest fertility problems and it was the fertility problems that reduced the risk.
RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is an organization devoted to providing education and support to individuals with fertility problems. RESOLVE is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, with local chapters across the United States. For information, go to http://resolve.org or call 703-556-7172.