Assisted reproductive technology (ART) included medical practices and methods used to facilitate fertilization outside the human body. While ART helps women get pregnant despite reproductive issues, it may also increase the risk of various types of cancers in women. This study aims to assess the increased risk of ovarian, breast, and corpus uteri cancer in women who have used ART methods.
This is a population-based, data linkage, large cohort study that included a total of 255,786 women who underwent assisted reproduction. The primary outcome was the diagnosis of ovarian, breast, and corpus uteri cancer.
During the follow-up of 2,257,789 person-years, no significant risk of corpus uteri cancer (164 vs. 146.9 expected) was discovered. The findings did not suggest any significant increase in the risk of overall breast cancer (2,578 vs. 2,641.2) or invasive breast cancer (2,272 vs. 2,371). However, an increased risk of in-situ breast cancer was detected (291 vs. 235.5). The findings also suggested an increased risk of ovarian cancer (405 vs. 291.82), both invasive and borderline. The increased risk of cancer was directly proportional to the number of treatment cycles.
The research concluded that ART treatments were not associated with the risk of corpus uteri, overall breast, and invasive breast cancer, but they increased the risk of in-situ breast, invasive ovarian, and borderline ovarian cancer.