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Breast Cancer Health Center

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Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Late Stage Breast Cancer (Stage III and IV)

First-trimester radiation therapy should be avoided. Chemotherapy may be given after the first trimester as discussed in the section on Early Stage Breast Cancer. Because the mother may have a limited life span (most studies show a 5-year survival rate of 10% in pregnant patients with stage III and IV disease), and there is a risk of fetal damage with treatment during the first trimester,[1,2] issues regarding continuation of the pregnancy should be discussed with the patient and her family. Therapeutic abortion does not improve prognosis.[1,2,3,4,5]

References:

Recommended Related to Breast Cancer

Expert Q&A: Getting the Best Breast Cancer Treatment

Each year in the United States, close to 250,000 women learn they have breast cancer. As they deal with their diagnosis, they are also asked to make daunting decisions about how to best fight their disease. New patients facing treatment need to understand their options, and that means learning all they can about their cancer, says breast cancer surgeon Lee Gravatt Wilke, MD. Wilke, who is an assistant professor of surgery at Duke University Health System and a board member of the NavigateCancer...

Read the Expert Q&A: Getting the Best Breast Cancer Treatment article > >

  1. Hoover HC Jr: Breast cancer during pregnancy and lactation. Surg Clin North Am 70 (5): 1151-63, 1990.
  2. Rugo HS: Management of breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. Curr Treat Options Oncol 4 (2): 165-73, 2003.
  3. Gwyn K, Theriault R: Breast cancer during pregnancy. Oncology (Huntingt) 15 (1): 39-46; discussion 46, 49-51, 2001.
  4. Clark RM, Chua T: Breast cancer and pregnancy: the ultimate challenge. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 1 (1): 11-8, 1989.
  5. Barnavon Y, Wallack MK: Management of the pregnant patient with carcinoma of the breast. Surg Gynecol Obstet 171 (4): 347-52, 1990.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: 8/, 015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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