This Drug Could Help Young Breast Cancer Patients Have a Baby

breast cancer treatment pillsFor women under 40 who are diagnosed with breast cancer and have to undergo chemo, going through an early menopause has been the "shrug ... oh well" accepted norm. Docs often offer women the option of having eggs removed and frozen pre-treatment, so they can preserve some chance of having a baby later. But the difficult, complicated process doesn't sound like the best solution either.

That's why it's exciting to hear that science may have a new treatment in store for these younger breast cancer patients.

An injection of a drug called triptorelin (which mimics the actions of a hormone) temporarily suppressed ovarian function and reduced the occurrence of premature menopause in women with breast cancer. The findings showed that little more than a quarter of the women in the placebo group experienced menopause due to chemotherapy, compared with only 8.9 percent of women who received triptorelin.

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Women's age and the type of chemo they had didn't influence risk of developing menopause.

This treatment does sound very promising, but I think it bears noting that the long-term safety of this med is still up in the air. Researchers don't know if triptorelin definitely preserves fertility, and they don't know how it might affect cancer survival, especially in women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer. So, clearly, more research on the topic is warranted. 

Still, it's heartening that researchers are even attempting to find a solution for younger women battling breast cancer.

What do you think about this possible solution for younger breast cancer patients?


Image via BeFutureproof/Flickr

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