Early cancer 'can lead to premature menopause'

Women are more likely to experience a premature menopause if they have suffered from cancer in their youth.

According to a study by the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, many females who had cancer as a child will see their fertility come to an end about seven years earlier than it would do otherwise.

Cecile Teinturier, principal writer of the research, commented: "This new data should help both to inform patients who are at risk of premature menopause and to reassure women who present a low risk."

She advised females who have experienced cancer as a child not to put off their first pregnancy until after they turn 30.

The findings, which were published in Human Reproduction, were based on a study of 1,522 women who had suffered from cancer between 1945 and 1986.

Nearly one in three were aged at least 40, while seven per cent were 50 or above.

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