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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

  • Jennifer Jones Profile

    I'm having a mastectomy with auxiliary nodes on October 11th. Does anyone know how long the recovery will be?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Wendy DeLong Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had drains 2 weeks. Was back to work in 3 weeks. I had expander inserted same time assay.

      Comment
    • Wendy DeLong Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Sorry.... Same time as mastectomy. You may still have some limited range of motion. You'll do fine I'm sure! Take care !

      Comment
  • Diane Sakowski Profile

    5.6 cm. stage? Surgery in days. Scared

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      Diane,
      I felt exactly the same as all the other wonderful women here. I was terrified and I think we all are but for a variety of reasons. I think most prevelent is fear of the unknown. Once you have your treatment plan laid out, you know where you are going. There are tons of stories of women...

      more

      Diane,
      I felt exactly the same as all the other wonderful women here. I was terrified and I think we all are but for a variety of reasons. I think most prevelent is fear of the unknown. Once you have your treatment plan laid out, you know where you are going. There are tons of stories of women having surgery, going through their treatments and coming out as a victorious survivor! You WILL make it through this journey and be a survivor just like we are. I can assure you, there are good endings to breast cancer. I am a 5 year survivor and just had another GOOD check-up this past Wednesday. I wish we could all get together and give you a little sack of our collective courage. For me, just as Rita said, the surgery.... in my case a mastectomy.... was NOT that bad! The chemo. again, was not that bad. As my oncologist told me...."This is NOT your mother or grandmother's chemotherapy." You stop people from telling you negative stories.... don't listen to them.
      Please remember, we are all here to help support everyone going through this journey. Positive thoughts only.... put on your pink warrior outfit.... and march with determination. Do not be afraid to ask questions of your team, they are there to help you. You WILL triumph as so many women have before you. God's blessings, Sharon

      Comment
    • Marianne R. Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      My tumor was 7.3 cm I am stage 3. Last year I had surgery, chemo, and radiation. Today the cancer is gone. I jave to be villigent about my check up but today No ca

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    I've had an ongoing rash on the side of my breast for over a year now. It is terribly itchy and nothing seems to work. Creams, oils, you name it. My areola has also changed in color and I can sometimes feel a pencil like bump. I'm 25, should I be worried?

    Asked by anonymous

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

      Kristine,
      Please go see a specialist. It is concerning about the color change in your skin. We are all dancing around the fear of breast cancer. Unfortunately, even at your very young age, it isn't unheard of any more to have that kind of diagnosis. There are a million other things it could...

      more

      Kristine,
      Please go see a specialist. It is concerning about the color change in your skin. We are all dancing around the fear of breast cancer. Unfortunately, even at your very young age, it isn't unheard of any more to have that kind of diagnosis. There are a million other things it could be but this is the most problematic. I would go to a women's clinic, with multiple physicians. I would ask when making the appointment you would like to see someone who may be more of a specialist in breast health and treatment with breast problems. When you go there, you want the doctor not to brush you off or give you some cremes and send you on your way. If they do, of course, do what they tell you, but if it does not get better, keep after them. Ultimately, you may have to have a sample of tissue sent to a lab. Don't stop seeking help UNTIL you get a definitive answer. You have to be your own best advocate, no matter how scary it is. Please contact an office Monday and make an appointment. I would like you to contact us again with a report. Hang in there and take care, Sharon

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      It's probably nothing but only a Dr can confirm that. Make an Appt just to ease your worries

      Comment
  • anonymous Profile

    How can I best support my loved one with breast cancer?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 14 answers
    • View all 14 answers
    • Laura Gaspard Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Tell them how much you love them! Be supportive and encouraging!

      Comment
    • Janelle Strunk Profile
      anonymous
      Family Member or Loved One

      By educating yourself about breast cancer, you will be better equipped to understand what your loved one is going through. Learn more about breast cancer here: http://beyondtheshock.com/learn.

      1 comment

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