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Cancer Patients at High Maternity Risk, Says New Israel Research

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Cancer sufferers and survivors are at increased risk of major obstetric complications, according to new research by Israeli researchers to be presented next week at the Annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

It is well known that cancer treatments decrease fertility, but very little has been known until now concerning pregnancy outcomes in cancer sufferers and survivors. Tel Aviv’s Sheba Medica Center researchers Drs. Richard Lawrence and Nir Pillar interrogated a large database of U.S. inpatient statistics and identified 15,191 births in which the mother was a cancer sufferer or survivor. Compared with other women, these births were at very high risk for a range of complications ranging from blood clots and premature labor to maternal and fetal death.

“Parenting has been defined as one of life’s greatest fulfillments, and parenthood is a major concern among cancer survivors”, explained Dr. Lawrence, the abstract’s senior author. “Increasingly we are seeking to understand and improve the life-experience of cancer survivors, once cancer treatment is behind them… Our recommendation is that these pregnancies should be considered ‘high-risk’, and very closely monitored.

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