Female childhood cancer survivors may benefit from Clomid
Clomid and other infertility treatments might be just as likely to help childhood cancer survivors as they are to help other women who are struggling with fertility.
Clomid and other infertility treatments might be just as likely to help childhood cancer survivors as they are to help other women who are struggling with fertility. A long-running study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute revealed that women who had childhood cancer were just as likely to have successful pregnancies when they sought out fertility treatment as other infertility patients who did not have childhood cancer.
The study, published in the July 2013 online edition of The Lancet, is surprising because it's typically thought that many female childhood cancer survivors have high rates of infertility that are difficult to address even with new fertility methods.
Researchers used data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor cohort study (CCSS), which detailed five-year cancer survivors who were younger than 21 and diagnosed between 1970 and 1986. The current study - conducted with groups who enrolled between 1992 and 2004 - found that of 3,531 cancer survivors, infertility rates were almost 50 percent higher than the control group of 1,366 who did not have cancer. For example, 8 percent of the control group needed more than one year to become pregnant while 13 percent of cancer survivors needed more than one year - the clinical diagnosis for infertility.
According to Dr. Lisa Diller, one of the lead authors of the study, this result was surprising and positive; though doctors often think survivors of childhood cancer cannot get pregnant, this is not true.
Researchers think the rates of conception and successful pregnancy might be so high because, while many women seek fertility treatment in their late 30s and early 40s, cancer survivors were likely to seek infertility treatment in their 20s, probably spurred on by the threat of early menopause to those who have had radiation treatments in childhood.