Study says pregnancy doesn't worsen breast cancer

UNDATED (AP) -- Does breast cancer hit pregnant women harder than other women in the same age group?

A new study at the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston followed just over 100 women spread out over more than 30 years, all of whom had cancer either during or just after pregnancy.

The results for both recurring cancer or death among the study group was found to be the same as among women in the same age group who had not become pregnant.

The study also analyzed data from more than 650 women during the same period.

Radiation -- dangerous to a fetus -- can also be replaced by ultrasound to look for breast tumors. And surgery and certain kinds of chemotherapy can treat breast disease without poisoning the womb.

The new study contradicts earlier and smaller studies that showed maternity made things worse.

The study is published today in the journal Cancer.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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