Pregnancy cancer is a serious problem for anyone facing this challenge. Evaluating several aspects before starting treatment is essential.
Pregnancy-associated cancer is any malignant disease that doctors diagnose during pregnancy or up to 1 year after birth. Some experts reduce the period from 1 year to 6 months.
The diagnosis of cancer during pregnancy is a complex situation and full of contradictory feelings. Gestation is a process in which a new life is expected. However, cancer is a real threat.
Due to the serious complications caused by cancer during pregnancy, it is necessary to evaluate several factors to know how to deal with them.
Patients need information such as:
Cancer in pregnancy: treatment regimen
In this situation, the main therapeutic goal is to heal the patient without affecting the fetus. However, this ideal goal is often very difficult to achieve. Therefore, in many cases, it is necessary to make decisions that cause less damage.
However, it is essential to emphasize the importance of assessing the type of cancer, the stage, the treatment involved and the gestation period. In this way, the patient will receive detailed and clear information, so that, finally, she can make the decision that she considers the best, in accordance with her beliefs and values.
The effect of pregnancy on the disease
Although there are opposing views on this subject, the idea that pregnancy does not change the natural course of the disease is becoming increasingly relevant. The mechanism by which the mother’s body allows the growth of a foreign body may suggest a certain permissiveness of the immune system.
This affinity for tumor development is a constant topic of research because it could be a key to planning safe treatments. Some researchers believe that pregnancy encourages the development of cancer.
Tumor effects on pregnancy
There does not appear to be a significant effect on the fetus or on the progress of the pregnancy. The rate of miscarriages and premature births is similar and only in certain types of cancer – leukemia, cervical cancer – complications multiply (infections, bleeding or difficulty in vaginal birth).
Therefore, it is important to know that the fetus is rarely affected. Statistics indicate that fetal problems occur to a greater extent in melanomas.
The basis of cancer treatment during pregnancy
Breastfeeding and cancer
Most doctors recommend that women who have given birth and are undergoing treatment for cancer stop breastfeeding. In the case of breast cancer, if surgery is considered, stopping breastfeeding will help reduce blood flow to the breasts, which will reduce them and facilitate surgery.
Many of the medicines used to treat cancer can be transferred to breast milk. Therefore, experts do not recommend breastfeeding if the patient is receiving chemotherapy, hormone therapy or targeted therapy.
Cancer in pregnancy is a very serious situation, which requires an evaluation from different perspectives.
It is possible to cure cancer, despite the fact that you are pregnant, without adversely affecting the fetus. However, it is a delicate situation and you need to understand that it is not easy to deal with.
Ask your doctor about all available options. It will help you understand which is the most appropriate treatment for you.