IVF & Cancer: The Connection
- Kourtney Kardashian and her new fiancé Travis Barker are trying for a baby of their own with in vitro fertilization (IVF), a process she described as “awful.”
- Kourtney said the doctor appointments have been “awful,” adding: “Travis and I want to have a baby and so my doctor took us down this road of doing IVF and it hasn’t been the most amazing experience.”
- While IVF can be an emotionally draining and expensive process, there’s also the risk of developing cancer, according to some recent studies. But SurvivorNet experts say don’t worry, IVF is still safe.
On Thursday’s episode of The Kardashians on Hulu, Kourtney, 43, opened up to her mother Kris Jenner about the difficult process of going through IVF with the 46-year-old Blink-182 drummer.Read More
While IVF can be an emotionally draining and expensive process, there’s also the risk of developing cancer, according to some recent studies. One linked IVF to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, and another piece of research linked IVF to breast cancer, a topic that’s been highly debated for years. (But SurvivorNet experts say don’t worry, IVF is still safe.)
One might think that IVF would increase a woman’s risk of gynecological cancers, such as ovarian cancer, but a recent study released by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute concluded that women who receive fertility treatment by way of Advanced Reproductive Technology (ART) are not at an increased risk for developing ovarian cancer due to IVF.
Kourtney Kardashian & Travis Barker’s IVF Journey
A source recently told People that Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker’s IVF journey has been “an emotional rollercoaster,” similar to how Kourtney described her experience on the show.
“They never expected it to be as hard as it’s been,” the insider said. “It’s been especially difficult for Kourtney. They still would love to have a baby. Travis is not putting any pressure on Kourtney though. He just wants her to be happy and healthy.”
During Thursday’s episode of The Kardashians, Kourtney said to her mother: “Every single person on social media is always like, ‘Kourtney’s pregnant, Kourtney’s pregnant, Kourtney’s gained so much weight.’ I’m like, it’s so rude to comment on people when you have no idea what they’re actually going through.”
In a confessional, Kourtney added: “I think because I’m so clean and careful with what I put into my body, it’s just having the complete opposite reaction and is working as a contraceptive instead of helping us.”
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Kourtney and Travis already have six children between the two of them, but they want to have a child of their own together. Kourtney has three children — Mason, 11; Penelope, 9; and Reign, 6 — with Scott Disick, her ex-boyfriend of 10 years.
Travis has two biological children — Landon, 18; and Alabama, 16 — with ex-wife Shanna Moakler. The pair also share step-daughter Atiana, 22, who’s Shanna’s daughter with ex-fiancé, boxer Oscar De La Hoya.
IVF & Cancer: The Connection
As previously stated, according to recent studies, there’s a link between IVF and cancer. One linked IVF to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, and another piece of research linked IVF to breast cancer, a topic that’s been highly debated for years.
But SurvivorNet experts reassure us that these studies aren’t something to fret over, as the procedure is still considered safe.
“The study (linking IVF to pancreatic cancer) is interesting, but the bottom line is that the majority of the existing literature suggests that IVF is safe in terms of childhood outcomes, and I wouldn’t let this one study dissuade people from undergoing fertility treatment if they need to conceive with IVF,” Dr. Jennifer Eaton, reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the Duke Fertility Center, previously told SurvivorNet.
The link between IVF and breast cancer, however, is a topic that’s been debated for years. But, according to Dr. Jaime Knopman, director of fertility preservation at CCRM NY, the increased breast cancer risk likely has more to do with the population of women who get fertility treatment and their health characteristics, rather than the actual drugs they are being given to stimulate their fertility.
In addition, Dr. Knopman explained: “People who do in vitro fertilization also have a better follow up, because when people come in for in vitro fertilization, we make them get a mammogram. That may put diagnoses at a falsely higher level.”
In other words, breast cancer may be detected at a higher rate in women who have had IVF than in women who haven’t, since women who get IVF are screened for cancer more frequently than others. That could impact the results to make it seem like they’re being diagnosed with breast cancer at a higher rate.
Contributing: Zara Sternberg