Breast Cancer During Pregnancy - All You Need To Know
Can pregnant women with breast cancer carry on with the pregnancy...
3 October 2017
Pink October happens to be the awareness month of the not-so-pinkish Breast cancer, which affects as estimated 12% of women all around the globe.
And a relatively new survey indicated that 1 in 10 younger women with breast cancer noticed their first symptoms while pregnant, or during breastfeeding.
The aforementioned survey has shown also that 39% of younger women go through treatments while their youngest child is 5 years old, or under.
Developing Breast Cancer While Pregnant
Breast cancer treatments offered to pregnant women usually vary according to the type and extent of the cancer, the trimester during which the cancer was diagnosed, and one’s health circumstances.
Most treatments given don’t affects the foetus, however, chemotherapy might possess some risk of birth defects or pregnancy loss if given during the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy)
But otherwise, pregnant women with breast cancer can carry on with their pregnancy just as normal, as there’s no evidence that breast cancer actually affects the baby, or can be passed to the foetus.
Aborting the pregnancy isn’t recommended as well, as it doesn’t carry a better outcome for the mother. However, some women still choose to terminate the baby for personal reasons.
A pregnant woman with breast cancer can go under surgery while pregnant as well. And many women are offered a choice between mastectomy – in which all breast tissues, including the nipple area, are removed – and lumpectomy that conserves the breast by removing only the margin of normal breast tissues along with the cancer. However, pregnant women are most likely offered the mastectomy, because a breast-conserving surgery demands a radiotherapy afterwards, which pregnant women are advised not to be exposed to during all times of pregnancy.
Hormone therapies are also usually avoided during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding. These therapies include: Tamoxifen and Goserelin, and targeted cancer therapies like: Trastuzumab.