Doctors in Australia have used fertility drugs since the 1960′s. These were used to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs and was found to be successful. In the past 20 years the usage of these fertility medications has greatly increased with the development of IVF and related procedures.
The question of whether women exposed to fertility drugs might be associated with an increased risk of cancers, has attracted a lot of attention.
The study uses the term IVF to include other related treatments such as GIFT& ICSI.
The study was designed to clarify;
â€¢ Whether there was any increase in the numbers of cancers of the breast, ovary and uterus in women on IVF compared with the numbers expected among women of the same age followed up over the same period in the general population.
â€¢ In the event that there were more of these cancers than predicted, what explanations might be plausible.
The Research Team
The researchers were Dr Alison Venn, Ms Lyn Watson, Ms Fiona Bruinsma, Centre for the Study of Mothers’and Childrens Health, La Trobe University; Professor Graham Giles, Cancer Epidemiology Centre, Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria; and Professor David Healy, Monash IVF & Dep’t of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Monash University