Breast Cancer During Pregnancy: What Are the Treatment Options?

pregnant woman

Dealing with breast cancer during what is supposed to be one of the most joyful times of your life is never easy. However, there are ways to treat your breast cancer without risking the health of your unborn baby. By working closely with your hospital’s cancer care team and your OBGYN, you can create a safe and effective treatment plan. If you’re facing both breast cancer and pregnancy at the same time, ask your physician to refer you to the oncology department at MountainView Hospital for care. Consider this basic information about breast cancer during pregnancy and your care options.

Basic Facts about Breast Cancer and Pregnancy

Breast cancer occurs during one in 3,000 pregnancies, primarily in women between the ages of 32 and 38. Most diagnostic tests for cancer, including mammograms, are safe for most pregnant women. However, it’s possible for these tests not to show cancer that is present in pregnant women because of the ways the breasts change during pregnancy. For this reason, breast cancer is often diagnosed in later stages in pregnant women, which is why it’s so important to pay attention to your breast health during pregnancy and report any changes to your doctor right away.

Breast Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy

To treat breast cancer during pregnancy, doctors consider both the stage of the cancer and the age of the fetus. Surgery to remove the breast cancer can be performed safely throughout pregnancy for most women. Chemotherapy can be used for pregnant women once the pregnancy is past the three-month point. After that, it is rarely harmful to the baby, but can cause premature labor and low birth weight. Radiation is not usually used for women with stage I or stage II breast cancer, but may be recommended for women with later-stage cancers once they are past the third month of pregnancy.

The Cancer Center at MountainView Hospital can help you make the right choices as you face breast cancer during pregnancy. Our Las Vegas hospital provides a range of health services for our community, including stroke care, a heart hospital , and robotic surgery. Get more information by calling (702) 233-5474.

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