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Types & Stages

 
Types & Stages

Chapter: 5 - Types & Stages

Subchapter: 8 - Breast Cancer During Pregnancy

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy have tremendous additional strain due to concern for the safety of the unborn child. It is a traumatic and extremely difficult situation, but there is still hope because of the many treatment options available. If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed, be sure to communicate information about your pregnancy to your doctor. Your medical team will take extra care in designing the treatment plan that best controls the breast cancer while protecting your unborn child.

Your treatment plan will depend on the size of the tumor, its location, and the term of your pregnancy. As with women who are not pregnant, surgery is the first step for treating early-stage breast cancer. Surgery during pregnancy carries little risk to your unborn child, so your medical team will most likely proceed by removing the lump, and possibly some lymph nodes from under the arm, with a lumpectomy or mastectomy.

Chemotherapy may be a treatment option, depending on your cancer type and the stage of your pregnancy. The effects of hormone therapy on unborn children is not entirely understood; because of this, if hormone therapy is prescribed, it will most likely be used only after the baby is born.

Although the cancer cannot spread to and harm the unborn child, sometimes the best treatment plan for the mother may put the unborn child at risk. These decisions will require the expertise and consultation between your obstetrician, surgeon, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist. You will also need the emotional support of family and friends and may benefit from the professional assistance of a skilled counselor or psychologist.

Related Questions

  • Rachelle W Profile

    What to expect after bilateral mastectomy? Would really like to hear others experience. My surgery is scheduled for 8/27.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2014
    over 3 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Mandana K. Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had bilateral mastectomy near 6 months ago,I myself wanted it,I had only one darn ,I was not uncomfortable with it.I had pain but it was tolerable,after 3-4 days I could walking alone.After one week I could going to bath (my husband helped me).I remember I went to Bone Scan Center and CT Scan...

      more

      I had bilateral mastectomy near 6 months ago,I myself wanted it,I had only one darn ,I was not uncomfortable with it.I had pain but it was tolerable,after 3-4 days I could walking alone.After one week I could going to bath (my husband helped me).I remember I went to Bone Scan Center and CT Scan after 2 weeks but at that time I walked slowly and I could not elevate my shoulders.After one months I was OK.I myself went for chemotherapy .It is not so bad u can tolerate ,but someone should help u for near 2 weeks.Take care

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The reconstruction is what made it so painful. Stayed in hospital overnight & my hospital was awesome. I had 1 drain on each side & hospital gave me 2 new bras that held them. They were in for a week or until the fluid drains to 5cc for...

      more

      I had a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The reconstruction is what made it so painful. Stayed in hospital overnight & my hospital was awesome. I had 1 drain on each side & hospital gave me 2 new bras that held them. They were in for a week or until the fluid drains to 5cc for whole days time. It was painless to remove them. My husband cleaned & measured fluids. Nurse taught great excercises to stretch muscles which helped tremendously. I used pain Meds for 1 week. It was tough looking in mirror @ first but after a few days I embraced my new look & kept it moving. My husbands encouragement & kindness made it easy. I wasn't able to raise my arms so hubby had to bathe me, cook, clean & everything in between. Love him
      I was put on Tamoxifen & had no side effects. Once pain subsides & u adjust to your new look you'll be fine. PRAYERS TOO YOU

      7 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    I was recently dx w stage 1 IDC..have had mucousy cough for 3 weeks.. Of course my mind wondering if it has spread to my lungs!!??

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 3 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Talk to your doctor. Have it checked out peace of mind is a wonderful thing.

      Comment
    • Norma  Cook Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2014

      It seems like having cancer makes us worry about every other symptom that pops up. Are you prone to bronchitis, by any chance? For several years I would get that each spring. Lately, it's been strep throat that seems to hit me at the same time every year.

      Has your family doctor checked...

      more

      It seems like having cancer makes us worry about every other symptom that pops up. Are you prone to bronchitis, by any chance? For several years I would get that each spring. Lately, it's been strep throat that seems to hit me at the same time every year.

      Has your family doctor checked your cough yet? That would be the first place to start. Whatever treatment or surgery you eventually have, it would be better to get this cough cleared up.

      If you're like me, the breast cancer diagnosis tends to overshadow everything else; but believe me, there is more to life than breast cancer. Take good care of yourself, and let others take care of you too.

      1 comment
  • jhili dutta Profile

    i have pain in my right breast around the niple since 3days.sometime it stops n again starts.my mensturation date is 10 days leter.i cant feel any lump in my breast.this is 1st time i m having this pain.what can b the causes?i m 22yr

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 3 years 2 answers
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      We aren't doctors here and that sounds like a doctor question as any changes to one's body should be checked by a doctor.

      Comment
    • Mary Navarro Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      Make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

      Comment
  • Unlucky Youth Profile

    Is it normal to have breast cancer when your 16?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Mary Chase Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No, absolutely not. But breast cancer is never a normal state at any age. It's just that risk increases for any kind of disease including cancer when we age. If you do have cancer I am soon very sorry!!!!

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      NO! It's not normal but it is not unheard of for breast cancer to be diagnosed in a 16 year old. Have you actually been diagnosed with breast cancer or are you feeling a lump in your breast? If you feel a lump in your breast, please have it checked as soon as possible. So many women have...

      more

      NO! It's not normal but it is not unheard of for breast cancer to be diagnosed in a 16 year old. Have you actually been diagnosed with breast cancer or are you feeling a lump in your breast? If you feel a lump in your breast, please have it checked as soon as possible. So many women have lumps in their breast that turn out to be not breast cancer. Many, many, more than turn out to be malignant (cancer).

      I really do pray you have not been diagnosed with breast cancer.... it is a big burden to be carrying around but would be especially tough on someone who is only 16, Big hugs and take care, Sharon

      1 comment

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