OCT 28, 2016 4:36 AM PDT

Breast Cancer During Pregnancy


Anyone who is diagnosed with cancer is, of course, devastated by the news. However, when a breast cancer diagnosis happens while a woman is pregnant it's an even tougher blow to handle. About 1 in 3000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their pregnancies and it makes choosing the right course of treatment even harder. While chemotherapy and radiation are very tough on the body, most pregnant women do not have to wait until the baby is born to begin fighting their disease. There are drugs that can be safely used to treat breast cancer during pregnancy.

As with most things, timing is crucial. If surgery is indicated and it's still in the first trimester, many women can safely have surgical interventions. Post surgery, chemotherapy can begin in the 2nd trimester. It takes a very qualified team of specialists to know just the right drugs to use and when they should be given. It also takes a very informed patient, along with her family members to be part of the decision making process. While some drugs and infections do get passed on to the baby during pregnancy, circulating tumor cells do not. The genetic risk of breast cancer for daughters of breast cancer patients is the same, but there is no increased risk of contracting the cancer while in utero.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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