Having breast cancer during pregnancy is not something that happens commonly but there have been cases where the mother-to-be has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is not related to getting pregnant however the change that happens in the lady’s hormones causes the cancer to grow faster.
During pregnancy the breast gets thick and this makes it hard to spot the mass or the lump on the breast. This is the reason why before a woman notices the lump it would have already reached the advanced stage.It is thus important that you get your breasts examined during pregnancy. In case of any lump or if you feel suspicious it is important to get yourself checked.
How is breast cancer during pregnancy diagnosed?
If you find any symptoms related to breast cancer then your doctor will do an examination and will refer you to the concerned department. Women do have pregnancy-associated breast cancer which could happen during the pregnancy or a few months after delivery. The breast cancer is diagnosed using a method known as triple assessment which is carried out by a clinical expert.
You will be exposed to an ultrasound scan that uses high-frequency sound waves which produces an image of your breast. This is safe for both you and your baby. You may also be asked to do a mammogram. Sometimes you may also be asked to get an MRI done to detect in case there are any changes in the breast.
A sample of the breast tissue will then be taken and sent to a laboratory for a biopsy. The test is safe for the pregnant woman and also for the baby.
If during these tests you are breastfeeding then the doctor would ask you to stop nursing and you would be injected a drug to stop the milk supply.
Treating breast cancer when you are pregnant
If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer when you are pregnant then you will have to under go tests that are safe for you as well as for your baby. The timing and the type of treatment that you will have to go through will be decided jointly by the cancer doctor and your obstetrician. The main aim is to treat it or at least control it so that it does not spread. But the treatment gets complicated when you are pregnant because the fetus has to be protected too.
Can breast cancer be treated when you are pregnant?
If you have breast cancer and you are pregnant then you should know of the options that are available. Pregnant women can get their cancer treated but what one needs to decide on is the type of treatment and the timing of the treatment.
The treatment will be dependent on:
- the tumor size
- the location of the tumor
- how much the cancer has spread
- the pregnancy term
- the health of the woman
Getting breast cancer treated surgically is safe when you are pregnant. However the treatment choice could get complicated if there is a difference between the well-being of the baby and what is best suited for the mother.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is gathered from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)