Purpose Because of the rising trend of delayed pregnancies, more and more women remain nulliparous at the diagnosis of breast cancer, and approximately 71% of them desire to conceive after breast cancer treatment. Advances in breast cancer screening have made early diagnosis of breast cancer possible, and many patients have the opportunity to be treated by surgery. In this study, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the effect of pregnancy on patient survival and prognosis after surgical treatment for breast cancer.
Methods An electronic search was performed in MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE, and Web of Science to identify potentially eligible studies published before August 2013. Both fixed-effect and random-effect models were used to calculate the pooled relative risk (PRR). The Q test and I2 statistics were used to assess the heterogeneity among the studies.
Results A total of 5 studies were included in our meta-analysis. Five hundred fifty-four patients who become pregnant after surgical treatment for breast cancer were compared with a control group of 2354 patients for overall survival (OS). Our analysis demonstrated that pregnancy after surgical treatment for breast cancer had a significant beneficial effect on OS (PRR, 0.78; 95% confidence interval, 0.64–0.95). The disease-free survival outcome also favored patients in the pregnancy group (PRR, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.71–1.08).
Conclusions This meta-analysis indicates that pregnancy after surgical treatment does not increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence and may actually improve OS.
- Breast cancer
- Surgical treatment
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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.