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Eur J Cancer. 2007 Sep;43(13):1890-4. Epub 2007 Aug 3.

Pregnancy in women who had cancer in childhood.

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  • 1Department of Oncology, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Edinburgh, UK.


The majority of female cancer survivors will have normal reproductive function and would be expected to have a successful pregnancy. For the minority of young women who have received significant cytotoxic insult to the reproductive organs and yet still manage to conceive, pregnancy must be considered a high risk condition and these patients should be managed by a multidisciplinary specialist team. Female survivors of childhood cancer who are able to become pregnant carry an excess risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight baby. This restricted foetal growth and inability of the uterus to carry the foetus to term is associated with radiation-induced damage to the uterus. Chemotherapy does not appear to be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, prospective follow-up of cohorts of patients treated with contemporary therapies, frequently involving more intensive therapies are required to determine the risk. A number of large multi-centre studies, are underway and will provide new insights into pregnancy outcomes in survivors of childhood cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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