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Older Moms and Breast Cancer Risk

Elizabeth Edwards’ Breast Cancer Raises Issues About Older Motherhood, Fertility Drugs

Protecting Your Breasts and Your Motherhood continued...

"I also make sure that every patient knows that when you use fertility drugs, you do experience an increase in estradiol levels on a short term basis, and they may need to pay attention to that in the future," says Pisarska.

For Smith, for any woman who had her first child after age 30 or her last child in her 40s, and particularly if she used fertility drugs to get pregnant, getting a mammogram is a good start. But she also believes it's necessary for these women to join a cancer screening prevention program to monitor and ensure their health.

"Until we have the answers, women themselves must take the initiative and we, as doctors, must give them the opportunity to do so, by encouraging the ultimate use of our screening tools and what we have learned about preventing breast cancer," says Smith. If that can happen, she says, we will go a long way to ensure the health of all women.

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