Fertility and breast cancer
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among females worldwide. The mean age of breast cancer patients is > 60 yrs old, and it is seldom found in women < 40 yrs old (6.5%) and in very young women < 35 yrs old (0.6%). In young females, fertility and all its aspects are an additional therapeutic challenge. Before initiating treatment, the oncologist should offer effective contraception to be applied throughout the therapy, bearing in mind that fertility preservation is of utmost importance. When it comes to breast cancer in pregnancy, the attending physician should use a therapy which is safe for both the mother and the foetus. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormonal therapy and immunotherapy can, to a lesser or greater degree, damage the ovarian function resulting in amenorrhea in women < 50 yrs (33–76%). However, owing to fertility preservation strategies, more and more pregnancies are successful, even in breast cancer survivors.
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