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Study: Fertility drugs don’t increase risk of breast cancer

A new study reveals that taking fertility drugs does not increase the risk of breast cancer.

Women who have taken fertility drugs don't need to worry about increasing their risk of breast cancer. According to a study recently published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, taking the fertility drug clomiphene citrate does not impact women's likelihood of developing the disease.

"Given the high doses of drugs received by our study participants and the lack of large increases in breast cancer risk many years after exposure, women previously exposed to such drugs should be reassured by these findings," Louise Brinton, who is the head of research on hormone-related cancer at the National Cancer Institute, said in a statement.

Brinton and the researchers studied more than 9,800 women across five sites between 1965 and 1988. According to the study, no elevated risk of breast cancer was observed in the 38.1 percent of the group who reported taking clomiphene citrate at least once. However, the researchers did caution that taking 12 or more cycles of clomiphene citrate produces a slightly increased risk of developing the disease.

These findings are welcome news to the millions of women in the U.S. who struggle with fertility and want to do everything they can to increase their chances of getting pregnant. Brinton and her team plan to continue to monitor the women in the study as they age in hopes of developing a greater understanding of the long-term impact of fertility drugs.

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