What You Should Know About Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy

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When you are pregnant, your primary concern is staying healthy so that your baby remains healthy as well. You try to do everything you can in order to ensure that you and your unborn child remain healthy, but sometimes there are elements of your health that are just beyond your control. Being diagnosed with a form of cancer when you are pregnant is one of those health aspects that are out of your control. However, before you panic, get to know more about cancer treatment during pregnancy and how you can handle a less-than-ideal (though not impossible) situation.

You Do Not Have to Make a Choice Between You and Your Baby

Not too long ago, the conventional practice in medicine did not allow for proper cancer treatments to occur while a woman was pregnant. This meant that she needed to make a choice between receiving immediate treatment for her cancer and continuing with her pregnancy.

However, new research has shown that this does not have to be the case. A study performed recently showed that women who receive cancer treatment during their last two trimesters of pregnancy were able to carry healthy babies and get the help they need to fight their cancer.

Your Child's Development Can Be "Normal" Even With Treatment

Many doctors and expectant mothers have been worried about introducing radiation or chemotherapy drugs into the mother's body (and therefore the placenta) while the child is developing in the womb. And the long-term effects were always of concern as well.

However, children of mothers who have undergone chemotherapy and even radiation therapy appeared to develop cognitively at equal rates as children of mothers who did not undergo any cancer treatments at all. This means that if it would benefit a woman to immediately begin chemo or radiation therapy, they can do so while pregnant without worrying about the effects it has on the baby.

Maternal Cancer Does Not Seem to Affect Child Development

Additionally, one of the issues previously misunderstood by medical professionals and expectant mothers alike was whether or not the fact that the mother had cancer at all would affect the health of the developing child. Many thought that cancer cells in the mother's body would affect the fetus as well, perhaps even causing birth defects or other problems.

Evidence does not support this contention, though. Whether or not an expectant mother decides to go through treatment for their cancer while pregnant, there seems to be no correlation between cancer during pregnancy and the child's health.

For more information, contact Cancer & Blood Specialists of Nevada or a similar organization.