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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

  • beverly moody Profile

    Is anyone on hormone therapy and if so, how are you doing? Will know in two weeks if I am a candidate for it.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Hi Beverly, I have entered my 5th year of the hormone blocking drug Femara or Letrozole. I will be glad when I get to quit. For me, the side effects have been hot flashes, and joint and leg pain. It has been tolerable but for me, the hot flashes have been the most troubling. At first they...

      more

      Hi Beverly, I have entered my 5th year of the hormone blocking drug Femara or Letrozole. I will be glad when I get to quit. For me, the side effects have been hot flashes, and joint and leg pain. It has been tolerable but for me, the hot flashes have been the most troubling. At first they were just plain ugly. They have gotten better but still a pain. Everybody has different reactions and I always hesitate to say something negative because I don't want to scare anybody from taking this possibly life-saving treatment. The side effects were small price to pay and I am very thankful this is available and I was er/pr positive and her2 negative.

      Comment
    • beverly moody Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Yea those are small but peaty side effects will keep in touch good luck take care

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I'm eighteen and was told today I might have breast cancer. When I got a lump I found checked out, the doctor found two more I had no idea even existed! I'm getting an ultrasound next week. Any advice for dealing with nerves, preparing for bad news, etc.?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 3 years 2 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Lumps even multiple lumps are very common. We all worry when we find them. You are doing the right thing in getting them checked. The vast majority of these are not cancers and you have an excellent chance of these being benign.....NOT cancer. We can all tell you not to worry but it is human...

      more

      Lumps even multiple lumps are very common. We all worry when we find them. You are doing the right thing in getting them checked. The vast majority of these are not cancers and you have an excellent chance of these being benign.....NOT cancer. We can all tell you not to worry but it is human nature to have this fear. The best thing to do is stay very busy. Exercise, take walks, get together with your friends, anything to keep yourself occupied. Can you talk to your mom about this?. Please let us know how your testing turns out. When you have the ultrasound done, have them explain what they are looking for and what they see. I will keep positive thoughts for these to be nothing more than cysts. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      5 comments
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      The majority of lumps are not cancer. That being said like Sharon said talk with your mom or some other trusted adult. You are in my thoughts and prayers, Betti

      Comment
  • perina  van der walt Profile

    hi I have been diagnosed with n grade 3 IDC. how dangerous is this

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 5 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Breast cancer is not the death sentence it once was. It's all dangerous, but treatable. There are other things to factor in as to what your plan of treatment will be. You can do this & we are here for you. Prayers to you.

      Comment
    • Mimi Carroll Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Grade 3 is a very aggressive form of cancer- You have some hard cancer fighting work ahead of you.
      Other info you need to look at is
      Stage- in nodes? - hormone positive or negative, - her2 negative or positive- All of this info will go into developing a treatment plan for you.
      The early...

      more

      Grade 3 is a very aggressive form of cancer- You have some hard cancer fighting work ahead of you.
      Other info you need to look at is
      Stage- in nodes? - hormone positive or negative, - her2 negative or positive- All of this info will go into developing a treatment plan for you.
      The early days of figuring it all out are hard, hang in there... It is all treatable.... The treatment might not be easy, but we seem to make it through it...... I am still in chemo... And kicking cancers butt!

      1 comment
  • Brandi Carey Profile

    have any of u experienced severe pain& acky in your shoulders% arms. mine have been killing me@ night for a wk now.is that normal

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Brandi,
      It is difficult to say what it is. It could even be a lot of tension you are carrying in your neck and shoulders. Ask you doctor. Take care, Sharon

      1 comment
    • Lisa Taylor Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I have the same pain but mine is from lymphodema !

      Comment

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