Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Early Stage Breast Cancer (Stage I and II)
Surgery is recommended as the primary treatment of breast cancer in pregnant women. Since radiation in therapeutic doses may expose the fetus to potentially harmful scatter radiation, modified radical mastectomy is the treatment of choice. Conservative surgery with postpartum radiation therapy has been used for breast preservation. An analysis has been performed that helps to predict the risk of waiting to have radiation.[3,4]
If adjuvant chemotherapy is necessary, it should not be given during the first trimester to avoid the risk of teratogenicity. Chemotherapy given after the first trimester is generally not associated with a high risk of fetal malformation but may be associated with premature labor and fetal wastage. If considered necessary, chemotherapy may be given after the first trimester. Data on the immediate and long-term effects of chemotherapy on the fetus are limited.[2,4,5,6,7,8,9]
By Fran SmithWhy even smart doctors miss breast cancer - and how to make sure you're
getting the best care.
No matter what you know about other diseases, breast cancer is probably the
one that scares you most. It is frightening, striking nearly 182,000
women this year and plunging them into a world of complicated, arduous
treatment. So it's heartening to know that more women are being diagnosed
early, when the odds of beating the cancer are as high as 98 percent.
Prevention and treatment...
Studies using adjuvant hormonal therapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy for breast cancer in pregnant women are also limited. Therefore, no conclusion has been reached regarding these options. Radiation therapy, if indicated, should be withheld until after delivery since it may be harmful to the fetus at any stage of development.
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Berry DL, Theriault RL, Holmes FA, et al.: Management of breast cancer during pregnancy using a standardized protocol. J Clin Oncol 17 (3): 855-61, 1999.
Isaacs RJ, Hunter W, Clark K: Tamoxifen as systemic treatment of advanced breast cancer during pregnancy--case report and literature review. Gynecol Oncol 80 (3): 405-8, 2001.