Not having children increases the risk of suffering breast cancer

That breast cancer survival has improved considerably in the last 20 years thanks to research, early diagnoses and the improvement of the treatment

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer in women, with more than 25.000 cases in Spain every year, which represents 29% of all tumours in women. The incidence rate is increasing slowly, to the point that approximately 1 in 10 women will suffer this disease at some stage of their life. The majority of the cases are diagnosed between the age of 45 and 65, even though the age risk is between 35 and 80.

The good news is that breast cancer survival has improved considerably in the last 20 years thanks to research, early diagnoses (it is advised to undergo a mammogram once a year from the age of 40-45) and the improvement of the treatment. The survival rate in Spain, 5 years after the diagnosis of this tumour, is 82.8%, higher than the median European and similar to the countries with the best survival rates.

There are various factors associated to a high risk of suffering Breast cancer. Some of them cannot be controlled: age, family medical history, late motherhood, not having children, early first menstruation or late menopause. A woman cannot control these factors, but there are some that the woman can control and which can reduce the risk of suffering this illness. It has been scientifically proven that physical exercise (a minimum of 4 hours a week), moderating the consumption of alcohol, avoiding being overweight, and avoiding obesity during or after menopause is beneficial.

Options to preserve fertility before undergoing treatment

Treatments used to fight cancer can be harmful to fertility, therefore, it is recommended to consider different options in order to preserve fertility. Egg Vitrification allows the freezing of eggs in order to use them in the future. Nowadays, babies have been born using this process, which has similar pregnancy rates to those obtained using fresh eggs.

The other option to bear in mind is freezing the embryos. This is a common technique which requires a stable partner and also ovarian stimulation.

As we already explain on our website (institutomarques.com) last February, it is possible to become a mother after overcoming cancer.