Prevention and treatments must be a priority, but egg freezing may be an option for pregnancy after overcoming the disease.
Medical advances significantly contribute to the quality of life of women before, during and after breast cancer treatment. But the stage in which the tumor is detected has a strong impact on the success of the treatment, as the Pink October campaign seeks to alert. And this includes the desire for motherhood, which must be planned, without ignoring the monitoring of women’s health through preventive exams and, in necessary cases, the recommended treatments.
The most recent data from the National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimate that, in 2020, there were 66,280 thousand new cases and 18,068 deaths of women from the disease. This is the type of cancer that most kills women in the country, and the mortality rate is considered high, precisely because of late diagnosis.
“When the patient is diagnosed with cancer, the first point that must be discussed between the patient and the doctor, without a doubt, is the treatment against the disease. But, considering the high rate of cure for breast cancer these days, she needs to be informed that, if she has the desire to have children after overcoming cancer, there are alternatives that must be defined before treatment”, explains the specialist in assisted reproduction, Cláudia Navarro.
Among the main treatments are chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For women who have undergone such procedures, infertility can prove to be a complication. “Some drugs used in chemotherapy can be harmful to eggs, leading to a marked decrease in ovarian reserve or even ovarian failure,” adds the doctor.
The specialist emphasizes that the freezing of eggs, a process that keeps the female gamete stored in liquid nitrogen, which can be maintained indefinitely, is an option that can be performed before starting chemotherapy. “So, when the woman is cured, in full health conditions, she will be able to resort to the in vitro fertilization process, using previously frozen eggs”, concludes Cláudia Navarro.
About Claudia Navarro
Cláudia Navarro is a specialist in assisted reproduction. Graduated in Medicine from UFMG in 1988, she received a Master’s and Doctor’s degree in Medicine (Obstetrics and Gynecology) from the federal institution. Currently, he works in the area of human reproduction, working mainly on the following topics: infertility, assisted reproduction, gynecological endocrinology, gamete donation and freezing.