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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 mom sched for bilateral mastectomy this wk. expander will be put in. Unclear if implant or diep flap is at same time. me and my aunt her for 1st wk. Aunt only 2nd wk. anyone have home health aide referrals for chicago area/orland park?

    Asked by anonymous

    Family Member or Loved One
    over 4 years 2 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had a double mastectomy with expanders in March. I needed help for the 1st 2 weeks after that I was good. My mom came for 2 weeks & I felt bad that I didn't need her help but it was nice to have company. Once u get the drains removed which takes a week it gets a little easier. I had a lot of...

      more

      I had a double mastectomy with expanders in March. I needed help for the 1st 2 weeks after that I was good. My mom came for 2 weeks & I felt bad that I didn't need her help but it was nice to have company. Once u get the drains removed which takes a week it gets a little easier. I had a lot of pain the 1st 3 days but it was bearable. Couldn't sleep laying flat had to sit propped on pillows & put them under your arms for elevation. These tips the ladies on this site gave me & they were right. My nurse taught me great excercises to stretch muscle over expander. Prayers

      Comment
    • Betti A Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2013

      From my understanding if she is having expanders put in the implant or flap surgery will be later as the expanders make the area large enough for whatever type of reconstruction she is having.

      Comment
  • Kimberlee Andersin Profile

    I have one more session of taxamill left then I am scheduled for surgery in about 3 weeks. I will have a bilateral mastectomy. Any advice on questions to ask the plastic surgeon? I'm scared and don't know what to expect.

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I did the DIEP flap. They used the skin and fat from the tummy. I lost no muscle( ab or lat). Nothing foreign in my body that needs to be exchanged for something else foreign. The healing isn't to bad I think the abdominal is the hardest part, for me. Think about it and do some research it might...

      more

      I did the DIEP flap. They used the skin and fat from the tummy. I lost no muscle( ab or lat). Nothing foreign in my body that needs to be exchanged for something else foreign. The healing isn't to bad I think the abdominal is the hardest part, for me. Think about it and do some research it might be right for you.

      6 comments
    • Linda Williams Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I just went through the same thing. As far as questions I can't be of much help as for what to expect I might be able to help some there. Keep in mind everyone is different but for me I have had very little pain my chest is still numb in mostly the center i had a spot in the center that wasn't...

      more

      I just went through the same thing. As far as questions I can't be of much help as for what to expect I might be able to help some there. Keep in mind everyone is different but for me I have had very little pain my chest is still numb in mostly the center i had a spot in the center that wasn't healing and he restitched it today without numbing it. I also had a centenal node removed so the back side of my arm to my elbow felt like it was bruised. A chill on my chest will give me a strange tingle. I have spacers in so it feels strange very tight. Your drains will be annoying but probably won't last long mine was in a week on the right side and two on the left. My pc wanted a total of 30 ml or less for the day for 3days before he took them out. One last thing since I'm having reconstruction my chest doesn't look pretty I have long scars across the center of both breast my first thought was well that's hideous!! BUT it won't stay that way it will be repaired when they do the implants. I also want you to know it is scarey I was scared to death but you will get through it, I have great drs that really do care about me and yours I'm sure care about you, you'll do great! I hope this is some help to you and please keep me posted.

      Comment
  • suzanne bickford Profile

    My surgery is this Wednesday...bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction (expanders). Doctor is using Aloderm as part of recon. How long can I expect the entire process to take?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      If you are asking about the whole process including expansion and change over to implants it can take several months depending on your individual circumstance. I had my mastectomy last November with expanders and am still going with it. I am looking at around June before I get my implants.

      Comment
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Susan, I'll answer the most recent of your questions -- seems the same question got posted multiple times! I have had bilateral mastectomies and have had reconstruction three times. I also have had Aloderm, and will have it this summer when I have my next (and hopefully last) reconstruction. ...

      more

      Susan, I'll answer the most recent of your questions -- seems the same question got posted multiple times! I have had bilateral mastectomies and have had reconstruction three times. I also have had Aloderm, and will have it this summer when I have my next (and hopefully last) reconstruction. The surgery takes anywhere from 2-4 hours, in my experience.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    what is her2 breast cancer

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • M M Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 2B Patient

      If you're HER2 pos it means that your canter cells are more aggressive.

      Comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Her2 is not a cancer. Everyone has these cells. If you test positive, it means that the 'bad' cells are over expressed - they duplicate themselves. There is a drug available now called herceptin, that is given for a year. Usually with 4 to 6 doses of chemo. There are videos on this website that...

      more

      Her2 is not a cancer. Everyone has these cells. If you test positive, it means that the 'bad' cells are over expressed - they duplicate themselves. There is a drug available now called herceptin, that is given for a year. Usually with 4 to 6 doses of chemo. There are videos on this website that are very informative. Prayers to you.

      Comment

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