|DES and Pregnancy|
Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic form of oestrogen
that was used between the early 1940s and 1971. Some women took DES during
pregnancy to prevent certain complications. Their DES-exposed daughters
have an increased chance of developing abnormal cells (dysplasia) in the
cervix and vagina, as well as , and an increased risk of ,
In addition, a rare type of vaginal and cervical cancer can occur in DES-exposed
daughters. DES daughters should tell their doctor about their exposure.
They should also have pelvic exams by a doctor familiar with conditions
related to DES.
Women who took DES during pregnancy may have a slightly
higher risk for developing breast cancer. These women should tell their
doctor about their exposure. At this time, there does not appear to be
an increased risk of breast cancer for daughters who were exposed to DES
before birth. However, more studies are needed as these daughters enter
the age range when breast cancer is more common.
There is evidence that DES-exposed sons may have testicular
abnormalities, such as undescended or abnormally small testicles. The
possible risk for testicular cancer in these men is currently under study.
The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken
from the following source(s):
1. CancerNet, National Cancer Institute:
(def;articles & more)