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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'm 20 years old. These past couple of weeks I've been experiencing symptoms such as intense pain all over both breasts, soreness in each breast, both armpits, warmth feeling in both breasts, as well as occasional tenderness in breasts. Is this cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Tamara Davidson Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      In my 20s I developed those same conditions 1week before starting my period,,,, but go see a dr if u concerned ,, god bless:)

      Comment
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Unfortunately, nobody out here knows if this is cancer or not. It is always best to have your doctor check something that isn't normal. This is best to do even for your own peace of mind. Take care, Sharon

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    My recently diagnosed 40yr old sister-in-law doesn't want my help. We live 30 miles away and only see her a few times a year. Her church and neighbors are supportive. Any suggestions on how to be there for her?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 8 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Betsy Chapin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      How to help? One thing about breast cancer is that it can be a long process between surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I know when I was going through treatment, I didn't want help either and I didn't want people hovering over me because I was determined not to be a patient. However people...

      more

      How to help? One thing about breast cancer is that it can be a long process between surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. I know when I was going through treatment, I didn't want help either and I didn't want people hovering over me because I was determined not to be a patient. However people comforted me in many ways. My sisters who lived out of town, checked in with me weekly by phone or email, they sent care packages during the weeks I had chemotherapy with books, warm fuzzy socks, and sometimes sent flowers. My friends were determined to cook for me, but I was dreading being bombarded with visitors when I felt miserable. So I placed a cooler outside my door and they all took turns delivering food for my family when I could not function. One place I looked forward to having visitors was the chemotherapy room because I needed to sit there for a few hours and I was usually feeling quite well on those days. Some friends and family also drove me to radiation as it was an hours drive away. And then there were cards and notes in the mail that to this day I still read as I look back on how people helped me when I never wanted help, but that is what got me through the most difficult time in my life. I am thankful that so many people found a way to care. My thoughts are with you and your sister- in-law and I know you will find your own way to help her. Take care!

      Comment
    • Jennifer Jackson Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I agree with all of the above. Never underestimate the power of prayer. I recently experienced a very bad cancer scare, and felt comforted through the prayers of others.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I have infiltrating DC. I tested pos. for BRCA gene. I will be having bilateral mastectomy on thurs. with reconstruction. I was told I was a candidate for nipple sparing mastectomy & am considering this. Any thoughts or opinions?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 5 answers
    • View all 5 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      My surgery was a success. The PS did such a good job. Nothing can prepare you to see your new breast/s and then they are numb and way too firm. I do believe this technique is the way to go for the most natural look. Scars are less disfiguring. Hope your journey foes well

      Comment
    • Mona Callender Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had implants put in wouldn't do again. But was 56 when I had it done. They are not what they are cracked up to be

      Comment
  • Karen G Profile

    My seroma opened up my breast incison. Healing from inside out. Anyone else?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 1 Patient
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Kimberley Duke Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      I had a seroma as well which ended up draining copious fluid. I then started chemo because we could not wait any longer. Ended up very sick after my first round and was hospitalized for 6 days. Breast continued to drain and then the one spot that was not healing from day one finally opened up...

      more

      I had a seroma as well which ended up draining copious fluid. I then started chemo because we could not wait any longer. Ended up very sick after my first round and was hospitalized for 6 days. Breast continued to drain and then the one spot that was not healing from day one finally opened up and expander was visible had to have immediate surgery to remove expander. Not enough tissue to close wound, so had to pack wound for 2-3 weeks then was just doing wet to dry dressing for several more months. Wound took 5 months to completely heal, and ended up with a huge scar on my chest. I then did the DIEP flap surgery

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Hi Karen I had a seroma the dr drained it had 300cc it came back dr put a drained tube in and it became infected. I had to have surgery & have my expander removed. Was on antibiotics for three weeks. I am now flat on one side. yes your right it's always something. Prayers to you IJ

      1 comment

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