medwireNews: The birth rate for women who are relapse-free after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) has risen in recent years, becoming comparable with that of the general population regardless of disease stage or treatment.
The study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology details the childbirth rate for 449 Swedish women aged 18 to 40 years who were diagnosed with HL between 1992 and 2009, and who were in remission within 9 months of diagnosis.
After up to 7 years of follow-up, 22% relapse-free women gave birth. The rate rose from 40.2 births per 1000 person–years for patients diagnosed between 1992 and 1997 to 69.7 per 1000 person–years between 2004 and 2009; during this time the Swedish general population birth rate was stable, with a 2010 rate of 70.1 per 1000 person–years.
While HL survivors initially had a lower childbirth rate than the general population, after adjusting for stage and treatment, by 3 years this difference was “negligible”, say Caroline Weibull, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and co-workers.
Describing the high childbirth rates in HL survivors as “reassuring”, the team believes the improvement over time reflects “reduced toxicity in HL treatment” and “changes in attitudes and counseling”, and recommends that this outcome should be communicated to patients “because it can relieve unnecessary anxiety and concern.”
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