The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.

Pregnancy and breast cancer survival

This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, it’s important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.

Introduction: Having a child after completing breast cancer treatment does not appear to lower a woman’s chances for survival.

Some studies show women who have a child after breast cancer treatment have better overall survival than women who do not [1-3].

Women who become pregnant after completing treatment for breast cancer may be healthier than those who don’t [4]. Therefore, findings from studies on this topic may be limited to these healthier women.

Learn more about having a child after breast cancer treatment.

Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.

Study selection criteria: Cohort studies and case-control studies with more than 100 breast cancer survivors and meta-analyses.

Study

Study Population
(number of participants)

 Was Survival Worse for Women who Had a Child after Breast Cancer Treatment
(compared to those who did not have a child)? 

Yes / No 

Cohort studies

Kroman et al. [1]

10,236

No

Iqbal et al. [2]

6,028

No

Mueller et al. [5]

3,223

No

Largillier et al. [6]

893

No

Blakely et al. [7]

370 

No

Case-control studies

 

Cases 

Controls

 

Verkooijen et al. [8]

492

8,529

No

Lambertini et al. [9]

333

874

No

Kranick et al. [10]

107

344

No

Meta-analyses

Hartman and Eslick [3]

17 studies

No

Azim et al. [11]

14 studies

No

Valachis et al. [12]

9 studies

No

 

References 

  1. Kroman N, Jensen MB, Wohlfahrt J, Ejlertsen B. Pregnancy after treatment of breast cancer–a population-based study on behalf of Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group. Acta Oncol. 47(4):545-9, 2008.
  2. Iqbal J, Amir E, Rochon PA, Giannakeas V, Sun P, Narod SA. Association of the timing of pregnancy with survival in women with breast cancer. JAMA Oncol. 2017 May 1;3(5):659-665, 2017.
  3. Hartman EK, Eslick GD. The prognosis of women diagnosed with breast cancer before, during and after pregnancy: a meta-analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 160(2):347-360, 2016.
  4. Sankila R, Heinavaara S, Hakulinen T. Survival of breast cancer patients after subsequent term pregnancy: ‘Healthy mother effect’ Am J Obstet Gynecol. 170:818–823, 1994.
  5. Mueller BA, Simon MS, Deapen D, et al. Childbearing and survival after breast carcinoma in young women. Cancer. 98(6): 1131-40, 2003.
  6. Largillier R, Savignoni A, Gligorov J, et al. for the GET(N)A Group. Prognostic role of pregnancy occurring before or after treatment of early breast cancer patients aged <35 years: a GET(N)A Working Group analysis. Cancer. 115(22):5155-5165, 2009.
  7. Blakely LJ, Buzdarm AU, Lozada JA, et al. Effects of Pregnancy after treatment for breast carcinoma on survival and risk of recurrence. Cancer. 100(3):465-9, 2004.
  8. Verkooijen HM, Lim GH, Czene K, et al. Effect of childbirth after treatment on long-term survival from breast cancer. Br J Surg. 97(8):1253-9, 2010.
  9. Lambertini M, Kroman N, Ameye L, et al. Long-term safety of pregnancy following breast cancer according to estrogen receptor status. J Natl Cancer Inst. 110(4):426-429, 2018.
  10. Kranick JA, Schaefer C, Rowell S, et al. Is pregnancy after breast cancer safe? Breast J. 16(4):404-11, 2010.
  11. Azim HA Jr, Santoro L, Pavlidis N, et al. Safety of pregnancy following breast cancer diagnosis: a meta-analysis of 14 studies. Eur J Cancer. 47(1):74-83, 2011.
  12. Valachis A, Tsali L, Pesce LL, et al. Safety of pregnancy after primary breast carcinoma in young women: a meta-analysis to overcome bias of healthy mother effect studies. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 65(12):786-93, 2010.  

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