Opinions required

I was diagnosed with Grade 2 2cm IDC, node negative, ER+ almost 6 years ago at the age of 32. I have had a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, rads and have almost finished 5 years of tamoxifen. On the whole my health has been very good since chemo except for a dose of chicken pox. My question is this, if you had my stats would you consider trying for a baby if it was possible (i’m not sure it is as I have only had about 5 periods since chemo and none in a year)? I currently have no children. My DH thinks it is too risky and scared to take the risk. I think we would be good parents but…

Hi,

I’ve just started tamoxifen following grade 3 IDC, er+, 2/9nodes +ve, mastectomy, chemo and rads, age 29. Also on Zoladex. Trying for babies in 5 years time plays on my mind everyday. You ask one doctor and they say it’ll be fine, ask another and they say it will increase the chances of it coming back. Personally we’re looking into adoption until I get some firm scientific evidence to say it doesn’t increase the chances of it returning.

Such a tricky decision but there are lots of people who go on to have babies fine.

Good luck in your decision.

Em x

deleted

Hi Joey

We’re almost snap! I’m just 38, diagnosed 5.5 years ago with grade 2 7mm IDC node neg ER+ at the age of 32. The difference is I guess mine was a bit smaller and I didn’t have the treatments. I had surgery - WLE - and because I wanted to have a family, I stopped there.

However, more than 5 years down the line I have a two year old daughter and I’m nearly 4 months pregnant… with a suspected recurrence in my lymph nodes, under the scar where the removed nodes were neg.

I can’t honestly tell you how I feel about it because I’m confused. I think each case is individual and it’s often said that pregnancy doesn’t cause cancer, it just speeds it up. I am so grateful to have our daughter - she’s a delight. And selfishly, I wouldn’t change that for anything, even a much shorter life.

But I am desperately guilty for having her in the first place, and now guilty for being pregnant again. I wanted to get on with a ‘normal’ life but it may well be at the expense of my nearest and dearest.

No advice or opinions from me, just my experience. If you go for what you want, you may or may not pay a price. If you don’t, you may spend the rest of your life fit and well, regretting that you didn’t try for what you wanted. Cancer sucks, there’s no easy way forward.

Good luck with your decision.

Jane

Hi Joey

You may find it helpful to read the BCC booklet on fertility, it discusses how treatment may affect your fertility and also includes issues such as pregnancy after a diagnosis of breast cancer. To read on-line or order a copy just follow this link:-

breastcancercare.org.uk/upload/pdf/BCC28_fertility_issues_09_web_pdf.pdf

I hope you find it helpful.

Kind regards Sam, BCC Facilitator

I blame my strongly ER+ BC on the IVF I had prior to having my son (and I concieved him at the first attempt, but spent 5 days in hospital due to overstimulation of my ovaries - they gave me so much oestrogen I produced 40 eggs instead of the target 8 - 12). We also have an adopted daughter who is every bit as much our child as our son. If I knew then what I know now, I would have adopted instead of going through IVF.

Good luck with your decision.

Linda

Hi Joey

First of all, I just want to say that I have no knowledge about the risk of breast cancer returning after pregnancy. However, I feel you should be asking your oncologist about your risk of developing a recurrence etc as s/he will have all the facts concerning your individual risk. Also, I see that some of the replies on here concern IVF and breast cancer, so it would also depend on whether you needed fertility treatment which would put you in a different risk group, I would have thought.
As for having a child and guaranteeing that you will never be ill whilst it is young? Impossible, as who knows what lies ahead for us all? However, if you know your risks are very significant before your pregnancy, then you would have to ask yourself whether you feel bringing a child into the world with the high risk of losing its mother when it is very young is fair and as MsMolly said, going through treatment with a young child to care for must be horrendous, so another serious consideration. I wish you well whatever your decision, but I again, I do think you should ask the people who know the risks the best.

Quote:

This thread
breastcancercare.org.uk/forum/i-want-to-have-a-child-by-egg-donation-t25614.html
though important to note that it discusses the topic from the perspective of an older woman.

hi joey, i started a thread in march abpout fertility, i will try and find it to bump it up for you, not sure how helpful it may be. I feel for you, my decision was about whether to risk ivf prior to my treatment beginning so i could try for a third baby as i already have 2 lovely little boys. It must be a hard decision to make, good luck with it

Vickie

Joey - I just came across this article about pregnancy after bc. Thought you may be interested.

ecancermedicalscience.com/news-insider-news.asp?itemId=978

Ann x

Thank you all for taking the time and effort to reply. I really appreciate it. Now to digest the info!

Best wishes to you all.
Joey

i think its a hard decision but only really one that you and your OH can make… maybe think about how you would feel if you never tried and then ended up living to be 80, or if you did have a baby then had a recurrence… would you think youd like to leave a wee bit of you behind for your partner or do you feel it would be too much of a burden and a reminder, if you didnt try would you resent your partner or just be happy to be alive… these things are very personal to you.

the rate of breast cancers occurring in pregnancy is around 2% of all breast cancers so is considered to be pretty rare.

as for the link with with IVF there is nothing concrete… some studies say there is no increased risk, some show a slight increase for women who have high dose IVF, but it could be the infertility that causes the increase and not the fertility treatment, one research trial found that fertility drugs didnt increase the incidence of breast cancer in brca 1 and 2 ladies but that being infertile did… but brca 1 and 2 are affected slightly differently in that early pregnancy is found to increase the incidence but alcohol doesnt which is the opposite to the general population.

sorry didnt mean to go into teaching mode there.

Lulu x