With the average age at first pregnancy increasing as life and financial strive pushes everything back, you'd expect there to be some sort of health repercussions. For instance, as women age so do their eggs. That could mean over time we'll notice an increase in age-related conditions like Down's syndrome and other chromosome defects. However, pregnancy cancer - though on the rise - is not associated with the increase in average age during pregnancy.
An Australian study of more than 780,000 women is behind the new information on pregnancy-related cancer. The study was complete in New South Wales with a participants giving birth between '94 and '08. More than 1.3 million pregnancies occurred during the study span.
Women diagnosed with cancer during or within on year of pregnancy were placed in one group with the remaining women placed in the control group. Cancer was diagnosed in nearly 1,800 cases. That gives researchers a cancer ratio of 137.3/100,000. When researchers compared '94 to '08, the cancer ratio increased from 112.3/100,000 to 191.5/100,000. At the same time, the number of women getting pregnant after the age of 35 increased b 13.4%. So, does the increase in age at pregnancy the cause of the rise in pregnancy cancer?
Pregnancy Age and Pregnancy Cancer
If you look at the rise in pregnancy cancer cases as being represented as 100%, only 14% of the cases were attributed to age so that leaves 86% of the rise in pregnancy cancer cases with no age-related factor. Researchers believe that a majority of these cancers existed before women became pregnant. If the cancer is hormone fed, the increase in hormones during pregnancy would cause the tumor to grow faster and thus, detection occurred during the pregnancy.
How Does Pregnancy Cancer Affect Pregnancy Outcome?
Research suggests that pregnancy cancer increases the risk of C-section, premature birth (planned) and infant size at birth.
Source: BJOG Press Release