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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
  • sylvia clark Profile

    Chemo after surgery... what if you dont think you are healed?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Sylvia,

      What is happening that makes you think you aren't healed? If you are concerned you need to get in to see your surgeon and also call your oncologists office.

      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      It takes time to feel well. Your body has been treated but now it needs time to heal along with your mind and heart. Every week I feel better and almost a year out of chemo I'm just now feeling healed and adjusting to my new normal . I finished chemo6/30/2011, radiation 9/21/2011, tamoxifen...

      more

      It takes time to feel well. Your body has been treated but now it needs time to heal along with your mind and heart. Every week I feel better and almost a year out of chemo I'm just now feeling healed and adjusting to my new normal . I finished chemo6/30/2011, radiation 9/21/2011, tamoxifen for another 4 years and 3months. reconstruction 6/29/2012

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    What do I have to expect from the injection with the radioactive blue dye for the lymph node biopsy? How does the procedure go? Is it painful? I need to have one done the day before my surgery in the right breast close to the nipple.

    Asked by anonymous

    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • sandy glisman Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Mine was done pre-surgery and i had taken a xanax to relax me. I don't remember it being too bad. Ask for something to relax you and a topical numbing cream!! Good luck to you and keep us posted!You are in my thoughts and prayers!!
      Hugs and lucky shamrocks
      Sandy

      8 comments
    • sandy glisman Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      Kornelia,
      Thank you for your well wishes!! This is such a rollercoaster ride of upds and downs. Definately make them give you something to relax and you will be fine!! I will be praying for you consistantly pink lady!! You can do this!! Keep me posted!!
      Hugs and lucky shamrocks
      Sandy

      3 comments
  • Shawna T Profile

    My Dr added two more chemo sessions on top of the original 4. Should I be worried? This has delayed my surgery and I want this cancer out of me!

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 3A Patient
    over 6 years 6 answers
    • View all 6 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I agree with Vicki E. Your oncologist is probably going for overall tumor shrinkage before doing the surgery. The cancer cells are being wiped out in the process.... try not to worry as this extra treatment before you have surgery is GOOD!
      Please contact your oncologist's office to clearify...

      more

      I agree with Vicki E. Your oncologist is probably going for overall tumor shrinkage before doing the surgery. The cancer cells are being wiped out in the process.... try not to worry as this extra treatment before you have surgery is GOOD!
      Please contact your oncologist's office to clearify this. It sounds like you don't have enough information to put your mind at peace. Take care, and healing hugs, Sharon

      Comment
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      Hi Shawna, I understand your concern. As Sharon mentioned, your Onc is probably trying to shrink the tumor more before surgery. I had chemo before my surgery as well. I had 8 rounds before my surgery. Then when they went in the tumor had not shrunk as much as they'd hope & I had 13 positive lymph...

      more

      Hi Shawna, I understand your concern. As Sharon mentioned, your Onc is probably trying to shrink the tumor more before surgery. I had chemo before my surgery as well. I had 8 rounds before my surgery. Then when they went in the tumor had not shrunk as much as they'd hope & I had 13 positive lymph nodes with some extranodal involvement. So....I had 8 more chemo treatment with two different drugs than the first time. I know it's difficult. Hang in there. Hugs

      Comment

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