Pregnancy Complications More Likely in Cancer Survivors
A study published in the journal JAMA Oncology finds that women who have been diagnosed and treated for cancer in their childbearing years are more likely to give birth prematurely and have a slightly higher rate of cesarean section deliveries.
"We found that women were more likely to deliver preterm if they've been treated for cancer overall, with greater risks for women who had chemotherapy," noted Hazel B. Nichols, PhD, the study's senior author and an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health. "[W]e still have a lot of work to do to understand why this risk is becoming apparent, and whether or not the children who are born preterm to these women go on to develop any health concerns," said Dr. Nicholas, quoted in Science Daily.
The UNC study correlated cancer diagnosis and birth certificate data from 2000 to 2013 for patients in North Carolina between the ages of 15 and 39 who were diagnosed with cancer. The research found that cancer survivors had a greater risk for delivering a baby before 37 weeks than mothers who had not been diagnosed and treated for cancer. Thirteen percent of cancer survivors had a preterm birth, compared with 9 percent of women without cancer.
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