Fertility problems increase risk of child cancer

Up to 22 percent higher chances of a child getting cancer if mother had previous fertility problems

February 19th, 2013 9:56 am| by admin

A recent study by the cancer society Kræftens Bekæmpelse revealed that children of women who had problems getting pregnant have a higher risk of getting child cancer.


In the largest study of its kind so far, researchers discovered that children born to women who had difficulty getting pregnant have a 18-22 percent higher chance of getting cancer while young.


Data studied by the researchers show that out of 2.8 million children born in Denmark from 1964 to 2006, almost 126,000 were born by women who had experienced problems getting pregnant. The study showed that these children had a higher risk of getting leukaemia and child cancer.


Marie Hargreave, the study’s head researcher, said that it is too early to determine whether fertility treatment is the culprit behind the increased cancer risk, as the research didn’t distinguish between women who had received treatment and those who had not. 


“We can only state that there is an increased risk of cancer amongst children and young adults born to mothers who at an earlier stage had problems getting pregnant,” Hargreave said in a press release, adding that the mothers’ age at the time of birth and the age and sex of the children were among the other factors considered in the study. 


Kræftens Bekæmpelse now plans to investigate if fertility treatment is the cause of the increased risk of cancer amongst children and young adults. One in every ten children in Denmark is born after fertility treatment.