Participation in a major new International cancer study which will investigate the risks for young women attempting to get pregnant after breast cancer, is being undertaken at University Hospital Waterford.
The Cancer Trials Research Unit in UHW will participate in the study which will see over 500 patients internationally involved.
Young women who have cancer can require ongoing hormone treatment for five to ten years. This treatment prevents conception.
The study will examine the risk of breast cancer returning among young women who interrupt their treatment for up to two years to attempt pregnancy.
Cancer Trials Ireland is co-ordinating the study in Ireland which has just opened at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, and will eventually involve 30 patients from Waterford, Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway.
Dr Cathy Kelly, Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital is leading the study in Ireland. She said that it was a highly significant study as it involved a consortium of 50 dedicated investigators from 19 countries around the world and was investigating an area of increasing concern for young women.
About 15 per cent of women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their reproductive years.
Participants in the study have to be 42 years old or younger, have had early stage breast cancer, completed 18 to 30 months of hormone treatment and want to have a baby.
Participants will interrupt their treatment for a maximum of 2 years during which time they will try to get pregnant. Participants will be carefully followed for at least 10 years after enrolling in the trial.
Women interested in taking part should in the first instance contact their oncologist to see if they meet the criteria. More information is available on www.cancertrials.ie