Breast cancer occurring during pregnancy is rare, but it does happen. In addition to worrying about the health of your fetus, you now have to worry about the impact the cancer is having on your body. If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are pregnant, here is what you need to know.
Is Treatment Possible?
Before determining which options are available for treating breast cancer, your oncologist and OB/GYN have to assess the progress of the cancer. Your doctors will look at the size and location of the tumor. Whether or not the cancer has spread is also a factor.
Your pregnancy also plays a role in which treatment options your doctors will explore. Some options are not as viable at certain points in the pregnancy. In addition to these factors, your doctors will take into account your desires. Each option will be reviewed with you, and the doctors will help you understand the options and what they could mean for the health of you and your baby.
Which Treatments Are Recommended?
In the first trimester of pregnancy, your doctors might discuss ending your pregnancy so that you can receive treatments that might otherwise prove risky to you and the fetus. If it is recommended by your doctors, whether or not you choose to do so is your decision to make.
If you continue with the pregnancy, your oncologist can perform a mastectomy or lumpectomy. A lumpectomy focuses on removing only the tumor and the surrounding tissue. A mastectomy would require the removal of your entire breast. To increase the chances of a full recovery from the cancer, your oncologist could push for the mastectomy over the lumpectomy.
If you are in your second or third trimester, a mastectomy or lumpectomy is an option. Your oncologist could also recommend the use of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy given during these periods is considered to be safer than chemotherapy in the first trimester.
In the event that radiation or hormonal therapy is needed, it will not be administered until after your baby is born. Both can have an impact on your baby. If you have concerns about the chemotherapy or other treatment options, your doctors can address those and provide you with additional information.
Your oncologist and OB/GYN are the best source for exploring your treatment options. Both doctors can work together to create a treatment plan that fits your specific needs. Visit sites such as http://swoncology.net/ to find health organizations that treat cancer in your area.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.