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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

  • Thumb avatar default

    I was just diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma grade 2. Anyone out there with same situation? I am leaning towards lumpectomy, but wondering if it is the right way to go?

    Asked by anonymous

    about 7 years 13 answers
    • View all 13 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I opted for a bi lateral mastectomy, it gave me more peace of mind and I am glad I did it.

      2 comments
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      It would depend on so many different things. You mentioned your tumor is grade 2. Do you know what stage you are? Are you HER2 - or ? BRACA? What do your other tests results say?

      1 comment
  • Amber Collins Profile

    I found a bb like bump on my breast, it was itchy but is not any longer. It does not hurt or move and I'm only 21. Should I be worried? Has anyone had a bump resembling a bb or small pin tip?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Anytime you have a question about your body, I would advise you see your doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Good luck to you!

      Comment
    • Karrie Cameron Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      It's always, always advisable to see your doctor about any concerns you have. No one can diagnose you through the computer. It may be something...it may be nothing. But if it is something, I'd rather you have a small something now than a big something later. Good luck!!

      Comment
  • Rachael Leslie Profile

    My girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. The appointment with the surgeon is next week to get specific answers. I want to do anything and everything I can to help her through this. Any advice is very much needed and appreciated!

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 7 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Rachael,
      How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your...

      more

      Rachael,
      How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your support. Go with her to her appointments.... the diagnostic ones will be particularly important. She will need someone to --take notes-- as she will never be able to remember most of what is being said. This is a step by step process. Try to keep her from going to the really dark side. There are a ton of positive stories and outcomes to this lousy diagnosis. We, here, are living proof. Some of the journey's have been very tough but these strong women are here to share their struggles and outcomes. You are a dear friend to want to help her through this battle. Please stay in touch with us, we are here to help you and her along her path. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because...

      more

      My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because when you are with the doctor we patients go blank I don't know how many times I was going to ask this that or the other thing and get into the office and I go blank my husband would just chime in for me Be patient with your girlfriend she will be on a whirlwind of emotions. Hold her tell her it's okay to talk about it all with you let her know your feelings also. My husband and I held each other up luckily one was always stronger then the other on those bad days. I have a link on my profile to my story of my personal experience with breast cancer in 2003. I take you from the initial diagnosis the biopsy surgery and recovery with a reflection a year later. Even though my type of breast cancer or choice of treatment may be different I hope by sharing my experience it will help other women and there family. http://home.roadrunner.com/~amj/

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I had a core needle biopsy today and the first sample hurt so much I begged not to have any more. Would they have insisted on more if they needed it? I don't think I can do it again and am worried they'd want me to come back for another biopsy.

    Asked by anonymous

    over 4 years 10 answers
    • View all 10 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I have a pretty high threshold for pain but I dreaded the biopsy because I pictured them sticking a big needle in my breast. As it turned out they had me face down on a table with a space for my breast to hang down and there was so much pressure from my breast being squeezed between two plates...

      more

      I have a pretty high threshold for pain but I dreaded the biopsy because I pictured them sticking a big needle in my breast. As it turned out they had me face down on a table with a space for my breast to hang down and there was so much pressure from my breast being squeezed between two plates that I couldn't even tell when they took the breast tissue. Don't be afraid of any procedure most are totally painless

      Comment
    • Lou Cam Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      Mine really hurt too. If you do have any more biopsys done, tell them about your painful experience. I was crying because it hurt so bad. If I have to do it again, I would ask them to use better pain control.

      Comment

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