Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a hormone given to millions of pregnant mothers from the 1950s until the early 1970s, may have caused their daughters to develop serious health problems, including ductal breast cancer, other cancers and reproductive problems. The defective drug lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP are currently investigating potential lawsuits on behalf of DES Daughters who suffer from:
- Breast cancer, including ductal breast cancer
- Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma (CCA) of the Vagina and Cervix
- Structural Changes of the Reproductive Tract, including T-Shaped Uterus
- Ectopic Pregnancy
- Miscarriage or Preterm Birth
If you are a woman whose mother took DES while she was pregnant with you, and now suffer from any of these ailments, this drug may be to blame. DES Daughters diagnosed with ductal breast cancer or another DES-related health problem may be entitled to receive compensation from the makers of this dangerous drug. To discuss you potential DES Daughter injury claim with an experienced and compassionate defective drug lawyer, please contact Parker Waichman LLP today.
DES Daughter Health Risks
DES is a synthetic form of estrogen that was administered to millions of pregnant women from the 1950s until the early 1970s to prevent miscarriage and preterm birth. In 1971, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Drug Bulletin advising physicians to stop prescribing DES to pregnant women. The FDA warning was based on a study published in 1971 that identified DES as a cause of a rare vaginal cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma in girls and young women who had been exposed to DES before birth. Since then, DES has been linked to even more disorders, and even now, more than three decades after the FDA issued its DES warning, all of the health consequences of DES exposure are not known.
To date, DES Daughters are known to face a higher risk of suffering from:
- Ductal breast cancer: DES Daughters over age 40 are nearly two times as likely as unexposed women to get breast cancer. For DES Daughters older than age 50 the relative risk is estimated to be even higher. There are two basic types of breast cancer, ductal type and lobular type. The ductal type is much more common and is approximately 90% of cases. DES Daughters who are diagnosed with breast cancer can undergo a genetic test called the BRCA Test to help determine if the drug played a role in their disease. If the BRCA Test is negative, then genetics did not cause the cancer. In such cases, it is highly likely that DES was a factor in a woman developing cancer.
- Clear Cell Adenocarcinoma (CCA) of the Vagina and Cervix: This is a very rare cancer, affecting only about 1 in 1,000 women. Until recently, it was thought that DES Daughters under the age at 30 faced the greatest risk. However, DES Daughters older than age 50 are now known to have been diagnosed with CCA. Structural Changes of the Reproductive Tract: DES Daughters often suffer from structural changes of their reproductive tract, including a “T-Shaped” uterus. Prenatal DES exposure can adversely affect the shape and functioning of virtually the entire reproductive tract, including the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. DES Daughters with a T-shaped uterus and those with a normally shaped uterus face an increased risk for premature delivery. Some DES Daughters report having an incompetent cervix, which can cause miscarriages in the second trimester of pregnancy.
- Infertility: According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most recent study of infertility among DES Daughters reported that 24% had never become pregnant, compared with 18% of unexposed women. Of DES Daughters, 28% had tried without success to become pregnant over a period of 12 months, compared with 16% of unexposed women.
- Miscarriage, Ectopic Pregnancy and other Pregnancy Complications: According to the CDC, estimates of a DES Daughter’s risk for an ectopic pregnancy range from 3-5 times higher than the risk for a woman not exposed to DES. The most recent study found almost 20% of DES Daughters had a miscarriage during their first pregnancy. About 10% of unexposed women had a miscarriage during their first pregnancy. The risk of miscarriage during the second trimester is slightly higher than the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. Overall, 82%-85% of DES Daughters were able to deliver at least one healthy baby, compared to 87% of unexposed women. DES Daughters were less likely than unexposed women to have more than one child.
Legal Help for DES Daughters
If you or a loved one are a DES Daughter, and have suffered from breast cancer, clear cell adenocarcinoma (CCA) of the vagina or cervix, reproductive tract problems, infertility, or pregnancy complications, you may have valuable legal rights. To discuss your case with one of Parker Waichman LLP’s experienced and compassionate DES injury lawyers today, please fill out our online form, or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.