Beginning ivf treatments after age 30 increases the risk of breast cancer: Results of a case-control study

Daniela Katz*, Ora Paltiel, Tamar Peretz, Ariel Revel, Nir Sharon, Bella Maly, Nadav Michan, Miri Sklair-Levy, Tanir Allweis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The long-term risks of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment remain unclear. This study was designed to determine breast cancer risk factors in women who underwent IVF, and to establish characteristics of these tumors. Records of 7,162 consecutive women who underwent IVF at a single center between 1984 and 2002 were linked with the Israel Cancer Registry to identify women who developed breast cancer. IVF-related parameters were compared between 28 breast cancer patients who had undergone IVF (IVF BC) and for whom complete IVF data were available with 140 women who underwent IVF and did not develop breast cancer (IVF non-BC). Tumor parameters were compared between 38 patients who developed breast cancer after IVF and 114 age-matched breast cancer patients who did not undergo IVF (non-IVF BC). Age over 30 at the time of first IVF treatment, even after controlling for age at first birth, was the only parameter significantly associated with increased breast cancer risk (RR = 1.24, p = 0.02, 95% CI = 1.03-1.48). There were no differences between IVF-BC and IVF non-BC patients in all other IVF-related parameters. The only statistically significant difference in tumors developing in IVF-BC patients compared with non-IVF BC patients was in grade distribution, particularly for grade II tumors. However, the significance of such a difference is unclear. Women who start IVF after the age of 30 appear to be at increased risk of developing breast cancer. The characteristics of breast tumors in women who underwent IVF are no different than in patients without previous exposure to IVF.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalBreast Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer risk
  • Hormonal treatments
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Infertility
  • Pathologic characteristics


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