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Video: Is breast cancer linked to IVF?

  1. Closed captioning of: Is breast cancer linked to IVF?

    >>> back now at 8:13. 37-year-old giuliana rancic was here to talk about her battle with infertility and announce she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer . news that is concern for some whether there could be a link between the two.

    >> giuliana --

    >> reporter: television viewers have come to know skrooul giuliana for her work on the e! network dishing the latest celebrity news.

    >> they say their biggest secrets for us.

    >> reporter: but giuliana was the one making news monday when she appeared on "today."

    >> we sadly found out i have early stages of breast cancer so and it's been a shock.

    >> reporter: her news spread quickly and questions were raised among some about whether her illness is related in any way to the treatment she shas undergone.

    >> start thinking about having a kid again.

    >> reporter: on their style network reality show " giuliana & bill." they have watched them struggle to conceive including one miscarriage.

    >> you know, why are we being punished in a way.

    >> reporter: they saw them embarking on their last ivf attempt at a well-known clinic in colorado.

    >> bye.

    >> reporter: it was a doctor there who asked giuliana to get a mammogram before he would go ahead with the procedure.

    >> i said, why, i'm 36 years old? i'm too young. he said i don't care if you're 26, 36, but i will not get you pregnant if possibly the small risk you have cancer. if you get pregnant it can accelerate the cancer.

    >> reporter: on tuesday she under went a lumpectomy in both breasts and now recovering. we wish her the best and are bringing in dr. nancy snyderman . good morning. is there any known link between fertility treatments and cancer specifically breast cancer , nancy?

    >> no.

    >> at all?

    >> no. in vitro fertilization and birth control pills both forms of hormones that women take have been studied and there's no known cause and effect . what we do know is that women who are older usually ask for ivf because they're having a harder time getting pregnant and women who are holdolder have a higher chance of getting breast cancer so there is an age relation but not a hormonal relationship with cause and effect with ivf .

    >> what about the treatments, the pills and injection that is women take regarding boosting their hormone levels given we know estrogen fuels 80% of breast cancer .

    >> in some tumors. so let's assume you're diagnosed with a tomb their feeds off some hormone. doctors say let's put your hormones to the side whether it's hormone replacement therapy until we treat the tumor then we can talk about individualizing whether you get pregnant. interestingly, we do know that moms that that are pregnant can get chemotherapy because the chemotherapy doesn't cross over to the fetus and moms usually do very, we very, very well. you take this case and we have to be careful to recognize this is one case. and we cannot extrapolate and say, okay, now everybody should get mammography. the screening guidelines for mammography are no different than those women who are not undergoing ivf so starting at 40 for some women , starting at 50 for other women but there must have been something either in her family history or a gut feeling with this doctor to want her to get a mammogram at the age of 37.

    >> her aunt had breast cancer yet when i asked her is it part of your family history she said, no, no. family history is not just your mother to you or your grandmother to you, it's also the extended family .

    >> own by about 8% of cancers have a true known genetic link. those of these are just accidental or familial. your aunt may have it and you may get it but that doesn't necessarily mean your daughter will get it. we don't know the root cause of breast cancer . whether it's a certain environmental trigger that turns something on but for women who want to go have ivf they should be very comforted by the fact this is very safe and trusted and known. i have a bigger concern for the college girls who are going out there and i'm getting a lot of drugs or harvesting eggs. we don't know how to follow them 30 or 40 years out. for the average woman take this case as a standalone and don't necessarily apply it to yourself.

    >> all right, dr. nancy snyderman , thank you very much.

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