"Breast and ovarian cancer are more common in families with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. As part of a large international study, I investigated whether women with these mutations could safely take birth control pills or not. We found two important things. First, we concluded that there was no direct evidence that the link between the pill and breast and ovarian cancer would be different for this group of women than for women in the general population. Our second conclusion was that these women can also safely take the pill, although we do advise them not to use it for too long and to switch to a non-hormonal contraceptive when they are between 25 and 30 years old. Even the Dutch magazine Linda reported on our recommendations when my paper came out.
International data collection allowed me to visit many beautiful places around the world, from Vienna to Washington. I am currently using the techniques I learned during my research for something completely different: I am now working as a data engineer at a consultancy company."
Lieske will defend her thesis on September 22.
This research was financially supported by Pink Ribbon, KWF Dutch Cancer Society, NWO and Cancer Research UK.
Prof.dr.ir. F.E. van Leeuwen
Dr. M.A. Rookus