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IVF treatment may raise risk of ovarian cancer

Fertility treatment can double the long-term risk of ovarian cancer, especially low-grade tumours, a study has found.

Stimulating the ovaries of women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) increased the chances of patients being diagnosed with invasive or low-grade cancers 15 years later.

Overall, ovarian cancer rates were twice as high among women who had the treatment, which forces the ovaries to produce extra eggs.

The main impact was on non-fatal, slow-growing 'borderline ovarian tumours'. Ovary stimulation led to the risk of this type of low-grade cancer being raised four-fold.

Although not considered dangerous, borderline ovarian tumours still require major surgery.

The incidence of invasive tumours was three times higher than expected after 15 years among women who had undergone IVF.

Belfast Telegraph

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