Presently, due to the advancement of technology in the medical science fertility preservation options like embryo freezing and egg freezing are available and it is advantageous for women who have cancer. The young women who are going on the treatment for cancer have the chance for infertility. In this condition they can take advice from the doctor about the making of fertility preservation. Here are given the essential information for the pregnant women who have cancer.
During the period of pregnancy, plan for prenatal care is prepared with the help of the multidisciplinary team according to the type of cancer of the pregnant woman. The plan is also made according to the stage of the pregnancy including the time of diagnosis of cancer of the pregnant woman. Treatment strategy of oncology in pregnancy is designed followed by an effective way to minimize the risk for the baby. Cancer treatment and the pregnancy are monitored and handled taking care for both the conditions of the mother and the baby. The plan is made by the suggestions of oncologist and the specialist of mother’s maternal-fetal medicine.
Treatment for breast cancer during pregnancy
Treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy is safe for the pregnant woman. Oncology pregnancy medicines are not harmful to the baby during pregnancy. But, the procedure of treatment and the timing of making treatment can be decided according to the following conditions.
- The size and position of the tumor
- The extended area of the spreading cancer
- The stages of the pregnancy
- The overall health of the pregnant woman
- Personal preference of the pregnant woman
Chemotherapy for the breast cancer is safe for the baby which chemotherapy is made in the period of second trimester or third trimester of the pregnancy period. But, chemotherapy is not safe for the first trimester of the pregnancy period. Other kinds of breast cancer treatment like radiation therapy, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy are not given during the pregnancy period due to the risk of a harmful effect on the baby.
Surgery for breast cancer during pregnancy
Making surgery to eliminate the cancerous cells in the breast can be done safely during the pregnancy period. The surgery may include:
- Mastectomy or the elimination of the breast entirely
- Elimination of cancerous cells containing part of the breast which is known as lumpectomy or BCS (breast-conserving surgery)
Mostly, mastectomy is made for the surgical procedure of breast cancer in pregnancy period. The reason is that radiation therapy is essential for the processing of BCS in pregnancy. Radiation therapy causes the harmful effect for the baby during pregnancy. If the breast cancer is detected at the third trimester, BCS (breast-conserving surgery) can be made for the treatment of breast cancer.
Treatment after the surgical procedure
There is a need for more treatment according to the stages of cancer. These treatments include hormone therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy which are essential to reduce the risk for cancer coming back. These treatments are known as an adjuvant treatment. In some conditions, the treatment of after surgery is avoided until after the period of delivery.