A 40-year-old woman who had been trying to get pregnant for 14 years claims her cancer treatment cured her infertility.
The woman, who lives in Florida and has not been named, took a chemotherapy drug as a part of treatment for pancreatic cancer and says it triggered her ovaries to function properly.
She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after finding a lump on her abdomen. Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer with a five-year survival rate of five percent.
The woman had surgery to remove the tumor, then underwent treatment with the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine.
A few weeks after the treatment, the woman noticed that that the drug appeared to restore her ability to ovulate, according to a case report obtained by Life Science.
The woman was diagnosed with an infertility disease called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) after trying to conceive for multiple years.
It is caused by an imbalance of hormones interfering with the growth and release of eggs during monthly ovulation, and causes irregular or non-existent periods in patients.
Most women with the condition grow many small cysts on their ovaries, which are not harmful, but cause a hormone imbalance. It is not clear what causes PCOS, but doctors believe it might be genetic.
he woman reportedly tried unsuccessfully to become pregnant for 14 years, using a combination of fertility treatments, weight loss and tracking her ovulation.
For an unknown reason, she did not try in vitro fertilization (IVF).
When she turned 35, she felt a lump on the left side of her abdomen and reported sharp pains in the area. She went to the emergency room and, after numerous scans, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The cancer is caused by abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas.
Following the cancer treatments, her doctor explained that she suddenly started having regular menstrual cycles. And, about 15 months later, she found out she was pregnant.
She only carried that child for six-weeks before experiencing a miscarriage, but now, five years later, the 40-year-old has given birth to a healthy child.
Doctors believe the gemcitabine drug restored her fertility and allowed her to become pregnant by acting the same way another treatment for PCOS would have.