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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

    My mother has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, any advice?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      She is going to be scared, and yet probably doesn't want to scare you. Be supportive, and I would suggest if at all possible, to accompany her to her fact-finding appointments. The toughest thing for a patient is to try to remember what her doctor's tell her. I would suggest getting a large 3...

      more

      She is going to be scared, and yet probably doesn't want to scare you. Be supportive, and I would suggest if at all possible, to accompany her to her fact-finding appointments. The toughest thing for a patient is to try to remember what her doctor's tell her. I would suggest getting a large 3 ring binder and a hole punch and keeping all of her test results, appointment, notes in that binder. (TAKE NOTES so she can read what was said at her appointments.) In the front cover, I would tape all the business cards so you have phone numbers at hand. Always ask for copies of her tests to place in that binder. She is starting on a big journey and needs the support very much. You are a wonderful daughter/son to help her through this.

      1 comment
    • Judith Eleam Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Get a second opinion!!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Questionable mamogram. What does it mean by the fact that cells are becoming more organized? Is that indicitive of cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    about 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I would be asking/demanding an ultrasound, needle biopsy, and an MRI. This is kind of sounding a little wishy-washy. I would be asking for a difinitive diagnosis. Is it or is it not breast cancer? Only a look at individual cells can say. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Patient

      Hmmm havent heard that. That would be a great question to ask the radiologist that read you the mammogram results.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My mother had bilateral mastectomy last week and has had fevers ever since. Her white blood cell count is at 47? Is that bad? Going in for her 3rd surgery today.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      I am sorry but do not know what is normal for blood counts but if she is running a fever, that does not sound good to me. This is something she needs to talk to her surgeon about asap. It also sounds like she may need to be on some kind of antibiotic.
      Take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      A normal white blood cell count is around 10,000. I assume your mom's is 47,000. With a high white cell count and a fever it sounds like your mom has an infection going on. (I was a nurse in a former life.) She needs to reach out to her doctors ASAP.
      If she can't reach them, and depending...

      more

      A normal white blood cell count is around 10,000. I assume your mom's is 47,000. With a high white cell count and a fever it sounds like your mom has an infection going on. (I was a nurse in a former life.) She needs to reach out to her doctors ASAP.
      If she can't reach them, and depending on how bad she feels, you might want to consider going to the ER at a hospital with which her doctor is affiliated. Be sure she wears a mask (you can get one at a drug store). She probably needs to have blood work and other tests to figure out what's going on.
      Keep us posted, and please continue to ask any questions you might have.

      2 comments
  • Thumb avatar default

    How accurate is staging after neoadjuvant chemo?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Diana Foster Payne Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I'm not sure. I had neoadjuvant chemo as well , but I was staged before my chemo began. I had more chemo after my mastectomy because of the extranodal activity they found when they went in. Maybe one of the other ladies on here will have that knowledge. :)

      Comment

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