Declared free of cancer, Australian pop princess Kylie Minogue reportedly wants to start a family.
The 39-year-old singer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. She underwent a partial mastectomy and chemotherapy, and may have sought holistic treatment for cancer in the United Kingdom.
Now cancer-free and having split from French actor and international hottie Olivier Martinez, Minogue spoke out this month in the British edition of Glamour magazine about her body image, cancer recovery and her desire to have a family.
Minogue told Glamour that she has been through an emotional roller coaster with treatment for breast cancer. "As far as body image goes, I've shrunk to nothing, I've ballooned … my body is not what it used to be, but it's the body I'm in."
She also said that she dreamed of having children. While Minogue's representative had no comment about her desire to get pregnant, Minogue told Glamour that starting a family is "still something I would love to happen."
After Cancer, Kids Not Out of Reach
Cancer experts say that her dream could become a reality.
"Breast cancer itself has no impact on getting pregnant," said Dr. Eric Winer, director of the breast oncology center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "The difficult issue for pregnancy is related to the treatment for breast cancer."
Still, pregnancy for someone who has undergone cancer treatment is not without its difficulties.
Chemotherapy may disrupt menstruation or decrease fertility. And even after chemotherapy, patients who have estrogen receptor positive cancer generally take Tamoxifen, a drug that interferes with the body's supply of estrogen. For some women, taking Tamoxifen may throw them into menopause at an early age.
If Minogue is not taking Tamoxifen and is still menstruating, her chances of conceiving are still comparatively favorable. Winer says that most patients wait at least six months after treatment ends before trying to get pregnant. Because Minogue has been cancer-free since January 2006, she may be able to move ahead with her dreams of a family.
There could also be an added bonus to getting pregnant after breast cancer treatment.
"The studies are cautiously reassuring," said Winer. "We are pretty sure that getting pregnant won't cause recurrence, and some studies show there may be a protective effect for women who get pregnant after breast cancer treatment."
The cancer treatment presents survivors with additional considerations, even after their babies are born; for example, if Minogue had radiation therapy on a breast, she would not be able to breast-feed a baby from that breast.
But Winer says that by fully educating women on what to expect, many of these considerations can be addressed.
"It's a really important issue for many women, after going through breast cancer treatment," said Winer. "It's a big, big issue, and doctors need to sit down with their patients and talk together about what the options are.
"What makes the situation hard for women is feeling like they don't have options."
Minogue, a Grammy award-winning Australian pop singer-songwriter and occasional actress, is preparing to release her 10th album and launching a comeback tour in November. She rose to prominence in the late 1980s through her role on a soap opera, before she commenced her career as a pop artist. Minogue has sold more than 40 million records worldwide.