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Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Breast Cancer Research > Table 55: Pregnancy and breast cancer survival


Table 55: Pregnancy and breast cancer survival

This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables offer an informative look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, they should be viewed with some caution. In order to read and interpret research tables successfully, it is important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.

Introduction: Having a child after breast cancer treatment ends does not appear to lower a woman’s chances for long-term survival. One large study even found that women who had a child after breast cancer treatment had better overall survival than women who did not have a child after treatment [1].

It is important to note that women who become pregnant after completing treatment for breast cancer may be healthier than those who do not. For this reason, findings from studies on this topic may be limited to these healthier women.

Learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different types of studies.

Having a child after treatment ends

If you wish to have a child after breast cancer treatment ends, talk to your health care provider (and if possible, a fertility specialist) before making treatment decisions. Your provider (or a fertility specialist) can discuss your options and the best timing of a pregnancy based on your treatment.

Learn more about having a child after breast cancer treatment.

Study selection criteria: Cohort studies and case-control studies with more than 50 breast cancer survivors and meta-analyses.   


Study Population
(number of participants)

 Was Survival Worse for Women who Had a Child after Breast Cancer Treatment
(compared to those who did not have a child)? 

Yes / No 

Cohort studies 

Kroman et al. [1]



Mueller et al. [2]



Largillier et al. [3]



Blakely et al. [4]



Ives et al. [5]



Case-control studies 





Verkooijen et al. [6]




Azim et al. [7]




Kranick et al. [8]




Gelber et al. [9]




Sankila et al. [10]




Mignot et al. [11]




Velentgas et al. [12]





Azim et al. [13]

14 studies


Valachis et al. [14]

9 studies


  1. Kroman N, Jensen MB, Wohlfahrt J, Ejlertsen B. Pregnancy after treatment of breast cancer--a population-based study on behalf of Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group. Acta Oncol. 47(4):545-9, 2008.
  2. Mueller BA, Simon MS, Deapen D, et al. Childbearing and survival after breast carcinoma in young women. Cancer. 98(6): 1131-40, 2003.
  3. Largillier R, Savignoni A, Gligorov J, et al. for the GET(N)A Group. Prognostic role of pregnancy occurring before or after treatment of early breast cancer patients aged <35 years: a GET(N)A Working Group analysis. Cancer. 115(22):5155-5165, 2009.
  4. Blakely LJ, Buzdarm AU, Lozada JA, et al. Effects of Pregnancy after treatment for breast carcinoma on survival and risk of recurrence. Cancer. 100(3):465-9, 2004.
  5. Ives A, Saunders C, Bulsara M, Semmens J. Pregnancy after breast cancer: population based study. BMJ. 334(7586):194, 2007.
  6. Verkooijen HM, Lim GH, Czene K, et al. Effect of childbirth after treatment on long-term survival from breast cancer. Br J Surg. 97(8):1253-9, 2010.
  7. Azim HA Jr, Kroman N, Paesmans M, et al. Prognostic impact of pregnancy after breast cancer according to estrogen receptor status: a multicenter retrospective study. J Clin Oncol. 31(1):73-9, 2013.
  8. Kranick JA, Schaefer C, Rowell S, et al. Is pregnancy after breast cancer safe? Breast J. 16(4):404-11, 2010.
  9. Gelber S, Coates AS, Goldhirsch A, et al. Effect of pregnancy on overall survival after the diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 19(6):1671-5, 2001.
  10. Sankila R, Heinavaara S, Hakulinen T. Survival of breast cancer patients after subsequent term pregnancy: "healthy mother effect". Am J Obstet Gynecol. 170(3):818-23, 1994.
  11. Mignot L, Morvan F, Berdah J, et al. Pregnancy after treated breast cancer. Results of a case-control study. Presse Med. 15(39):1961-4, 1986.
  12. Velentgas P, Daling JR, Malone KE, et al. Pregnancy after breast carcinoma. Outcomes and influence on mortality. Cancer. 85(11):2424-2432, 1999. 
  13. Azim HA Jr, Santoro L, Pavlidis N, et al. Safety of pregnancy following breast cancer diagnosis: a meta-analysis of 14 studies. Eur J Cancer. 47(1):74-83, 2011.
  14. Valachis A, Tsali L, Pesce LL, et al. Safety of pregnancy after primary breast carcinoma in young women: a meta-analysis to overcome bias of healthy mother effect studies. Obstet Gynecol Surv. 65(12):786-93, 2010.  

Updated 05/16/14