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Cancers on the rise in pregnant women: Study

Published on Sep 20, 2012 9:38 AM
 
The number of pregnant women diagnosed with cancer has increased over the past couple of decades, according to an Australian study that said it was perhaps due in part to the older age of expectant mothers as well as better cancer detection methods.-- ST PHOTO

(REUTERS) - The number of pregnant women diagnosed with cancer has increased over the past couple of decades, according to an Australian study that said it was perhaps due in part to the older age of expectant mothers as well as better cancer detection methods.

Researchers whose results appeared in the obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG said that in 2007, 192 out of every 100,000 pregnant and postpartum women received a cancer diagnosis - up from 112 per 100,000 women in 1994.

"Pregnancy-associated cancers have increased, and this increase is only partially explained by increasing maternal age," wrote Ms Christine Roberts, an obstetrics researcher at the University of Sydney who worked on the study.

"Pregnancy increases women's interaction with health services and the possibility for diagnosis, but may also influence tumour growth." Ms Roberts said that some doctors in her department had seen a few cases of expectant mothers with cancer and wanted to know whether this was indicative of any increase in risk.

 
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