New study looks at the link between IVF and child cancer

Dr. Jennifer Ashton discusses what women should know about new research that links in vitro fertilization with childhood cancers
2:07 | 04/02/19

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Transcript for New study looks at the link between IVF and child cancer
cover story and major new study connects ivf to an increased risk of a type of childhood cancer. Dr. Jennifer Ashton joins us now from Massachusetts with this. Jen, thank you. This is really alarming to a lot of people. When you think of the millions around the world, babies born, through ivf, 77,000 a year alone here make of this headline? Robin, you hit the nail right on the head. This study is going to get a lot of attention but let me break it down. It is the largest study of its kind, the first one done in the U.S. And wanted to look at is there an increased association or risk of childhood cancers in children born via ivf versus traditional or natural means. What they found basically quoting the authors at most a small marginally significant increased association of childhood cancers in church born ivf. To put that into numerical context for you they estimate this kind of equates to 8 additional cases per 68,000 ivf live births. Is there any theory as to why this may be the case? That's the tricky thing, they really don't know yet. There's a lot of theory that for women who undergo ivf who may be at an increased association for future cancers that the issues that cause the infertility in the first place, then can also overlap with certain types of cancers but they really don't know and we have to emphasize this study was done on observation and association, not cause and effect so we need more research. All right, so bottom line it for us, especially if you are a parent thinking about doing this or have done this. You've heard me say it before, an increased risk of a rare event is still a rare event. We node to weigh the risks versus the benefits and for right now ivf largely safe. Thank you so much, as always.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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