Doctors have long faced such a problem as breast cancer, which develops in a woman during pregnancy. Previously, it was believed that by having an abortion, you can slow down the growth of the tumor and reduce its malignancy. For the first time this assumption was put forward in the 80s of the 19th century by Dr. Gross. With the development of medical technologies, doctors in the course of breast cancer treatment we tried to save the lives of future children more often, especially if the patient insisted on it. And sometimes they managed to achieve good results.
Recently, the combination of breast cancer and pregnancy is becoming more common. Scientists attribute this to the fact that the age of women giving birth for the first time is increasing. In former times, a woman who gives birth after 27 years was considered” old-born”. In our time, this is a normal age, and therefore a problem breast cancer treatment during pregnancy, it is gaining relevance.
The question of maintaining pregnancy
Every woman who learns about the appearance of breast cancer during pregnancy is faced with the question of whether it is necessary to save the life of the child. There is an opinion that pregnancy increases the rate of cancer development. This is due to an increase in the amount of the hormone estrogen in the blood during the initial months of pregnancy and an increase in placenta and corpus luteum hormones in the subsequent months. These factors accelerate the growth of tumors. However, after analyzing the statistical data, the scientists came to the conclusion that the survival rate of women in the same age group is the same, regardless of whether they terminated their pregnancy or not.
In any case, the future mother should make a decision, carefully considering all the pros and cons of the situation, as well as clarifying all possible information about her situation. You should definitely talk to several specialists: a gynecologist, an oncologist, a psychologist, and a chemotherapist.
Approaches to breast cancer treatment in pregnant women
— The first approach to breast cancer treatment It is aimed primarily at preserving the health of the unborn child, as a result of which the effectiveness of treatment of the woman herself decreases. In fact, this means that treatment is postponed until the baby is born. In this case, the mother’s chance of full recovery is rapidly decreasing.
— The second approach is focused on the treatment of women, so you have to have an abortion. After this operation, doctors examine the woman, specifying the state of her general health and the stage of development of the disease. Based on the examination, the doctor makes tactics breast cancer treatment. This method of treatment allows you to maximize the survival rate of a woman.
— The third approach is a compromise that allows cancer treatment to be carried out while preserving the pregnancy. This method is complex and requires strict compliance with the requirements prescribed by the doctor, as well as maintaining contact between the oncologist and the obstetrician-gynecologist.
Methods of treating breast cancer during pregnancy. If necessary, prescribe chemotherapy or hormonal drugs for the time after childbirth.
— Operational method. If the cancer is at an early stage, in some cases, doctors can use the method of surgical removal of the tumor. Usually, surgery is performed to remove the breast, while preserving the pectoral muscles. Subsequently, breast reconstruction is performed with the help of plastic surgery.
— Chemotherapy. Scientists have proven that chemotherapy is most dangerous for the health of the unborn child during the first trimester of pregnancy,since it is at this time that internal organs are formed. In addition, it can cause a miscarriage. In the subsequent trimesters of pregnancy, chemotherapy can cause complications in the bone marrow, problems with early delivery, problems with fetal development, as well as infections and bleeding. However, sometimes it is possible to preserve the health of both the mother and the child.
What cancer treatments should not be used during pregnancy?
The use of radiation therapy is strictly contraindicated at all stages of pregnancy, since the fetus is extremely sensitive to it. Hormonal drugs that have repeatedly proven their effectiveness in the treatment of cancer are also contraindicated during pregnancy for women who want to preserve the health of the unborn baby.