Diethylstilbestrol (DES) Update: Recommendations for the Identification and Management of DES-Exposed Individuals

Barbara Hammes, CNM, MS, Cynthia J. Laitman, PhD


J Midwifery Womens Health. 2003;48(1) 

In This Article

Gynecologic Care for DES Mothers

Some studies have shown that women who took DES during their pregnancies have a modest (30%) higher risk of breast cancer (RR = 1.27).[2] The 2002 National Cancer Institute recommends DES-exposed women follow the National Cancer Institute breast cancer-screening schedule for women in their age category.[56] Women in their forties and older should be screened every 1 to 2 years with mammography. Women, who are at higher than average risk of breast cancer, based on family history other than DES exposure, should seek expert medical advice about whether they should begin screening before age 40 and the frequency of screening they should consider. Recommendations concerning clinical breast examinations and breast self-examination are controversial since National Cancer Institute has not found sufficient evidence to support a recommendation for these aspects of clinical evaluation.


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