In the context of breast cancer, there is no danger in suspending hormone therapy for a short period to get pregnant.
- Women with breast cancer who stop short-term hormone therapy to get pregnant are not at risk.
- The incidence of breast cancer events is statistically the same as for women who continue hormone therapy.
- However, the long-term consequences are not yet established.
58,500 new cases of breast cancer were detected in 2018, according to theNational Cancer Institute. Among the women who are affected, some follow a treatment called hormone therapy. For this to be offered, the cancer must be hormone-sensitive, i.e. the cancer cells have hormone receptors that detect estrogen or progesterone, two hormones that, among other things, stimulate their growth, according the National Cancer Institute. We then speak of positive hormone receptors.
Stopping hormone therapy to get pregnant
In a new study published in the journal JAMA Network, the researchers wanted to know if a short interruption of hormone therapy for this type of breast cancer was dangerous when a woman wanted to get pregnant. The answer seems to be negative.
To reach this result, the scientists studied the health data of 516 participants, most of whom had stage I or II breast cancer. They were followed for more than two years.
No consequences for women with breast cancer
Thus, they observed that, after temporarily stopping hormone therapy to try to get pregnant, the consequences on their health did not exceed the predetermined safety threshold. In detail, these women had an incidence of breast cancer events over three years which, from a statistical point of view, was not different from those who continued their treatment. Also, there was no difference between those who got pregnant and those who didn’t.
The study, however, is not over and researchers still need to work out the long-term consequences of stopping hormone therapy. In the protocol, it is expected that they study the consequences over ten years.