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Contraception for women with cancer

from Medscape News (free subscription)

The Society of Family Planning has issued guidelines about the contraceptive choices of women diagnosed with cancer. The society points out that although chemotherapy and radiation therapy can compromise fertility, many women remain fertile. The type of cancer and the specific risks posed to the patient will affect her contraceptive options. Hormones are known to play a role in the development of breast cancer; therefore, the use of combined contraceptive pills or progestin-only pills is not recommended in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. In these women, the copper intrauterine device seems to be the best choice. For women who receive tamoxifen as part of their cancer treatment, the intrauterine system seems to offer the most benefit. Its use will counteract the proliferative effects of tamoxifen on the endometrium while concurrently providing effective contraception. more

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