How is breast cancer treated during pregnancy?

Breast cancer can occur during pregnancy or within the first year after giving birth. Unfortunately, changes in the breast during pregnancy and lactation may make detection difficult. Pregnancy also limits the treatment options for breast cancer.

Surgery remains an option, however, with special care taken during anesthesia, but radiation must be delayed until after the pregnancy because of its dangerous effects on the developing fetus.

However, chemotherapy can be given in the second or third trimester. Alternatively, for women who want to save their breasts, chemotherapy can be given before surgery and radiation delayed until after delivery.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.