Childhood cancer survivors are not more likely to terminate their pregnancies

January 25, 2021

Female childhood cancer survivors face a lower likelihood of becoming pregnant than women in the general population, but once pregnant, they are not more likely to undergo an abortion. The findings come from a new study published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

Cancer survivors might be reluctant to start a family due to concerns for their children's health as well as the potential recurrence of their own cancer. This could lead to a greater likelihood of induced abortions in female survivors who become pregnant.

To examine whether pregnancies of childhood cancer survivors are more likely to end with induced abortions, Johanna M. Melin, MD, PhD, of the Finnish Cancer Registry in Helsinki, Finland, and her colleagues examined data from Finnish registers on cancer, births, and induced abortions.

When the researchers compared 420 first pregnancies of childhood cancer survivors with 2,508 first pregnancies from the general population in 1987 to 2013, survivors had a 28 percent lower probability of becoming pregnant compared with women in the general population, but their risk of a first pregnancy resulting in an induced abortion was similar.

"Our study shows that the risk of terminating a pregnancy is similar in childhood cancer survivors and population controls, suggesting that female childhood cancer survivors are as willing as their peers to continue the pregnancy and become parents," said Dr. Melin. "Also, research has found no increased risk for congenital anomalies in children born to cancer survivors. In our study, termination of pregnancy due to congenital anomaly or birth defect of the fetus was very rare in childhood cancer survivors."

Dr. Melin noted that the reduced probability of pregnancy in childhood cancer survivors seen in this study highlights the persisting need for interventions to preserve patients' fertility during treatment. This supports the American Cancer Society's Preserving Fertility in Female Cancer Patient initiative.
-end-
Additional Information

NOTE: The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. A free abstract of this article will be available via the Cancer News Room upon online publication. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact:
Dawn Peters +1 781-388-8408 (US)
newsroom@wiley.com

Follow us on Twitter @WileyNews

Full Citation: "Risk of induced abortions in childhood cancer survivors." Johanna M. Melin, Viivi I. Seppänen, Tiina M. Ylöstalo, Nea K. Malila, Janne M. Pitkäniemi, Mika Gissler, and Laura-Maria S. Madanat-Harjuoja. CANCER; Published Online: January 25, 2021 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.33384).

URL Upon Publication:
http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.33384

Author Contact:
Nina Airisto,
of the communications office at the Finnish Cancer Registry, at
nina.airisto@cancer.fi.

About the Journal

CANCER is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from worldwide sources for all oncologic specialties. The objective of CANCER is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of information among oncologic disciplines concerned with the etiology, course, and treatment of human cancer. CANCER is published on behalf of the American Cancer Society by Wiley and can be accessed online.
Follow us on Twitter @JournalCancer

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

Wiley

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.