Does Pregnancy Affect Survival Rates For Breast Cancer
Pregnancy can make it harder to find, diagnose, and treat breast cancer. Most studies have found that the outcomes among pregnant and non-pregnant women with breast cancer are about the same for cancers found at the same stage.
Some doctors believe that ending the pregnancy may help slow the course of more advanced breast cancers, and they may recommend that for some women with advanced breast cancer. Its hard to do research in this area, and good, unbiased studies dont exist. Ending the pregnancy makes treatment simpler, but so far no evidence shows that ending the pregnancy improves a womans overall survival or cancer outcome.
Studies have not shown that the treatment delays that are sometimes needed during pregnancy have an effect on breast cancer outcome, either. But this, too, has proven to be a difficult area to study. Finally, there are no reports showing that breast cancer itself can harm the baby.
Breast Cancer Cell Growth
Cancer begins when there are genetic changes, called mutations, in a normal breast cell. These changes happen in genes that control the growth of the cell. These changes may occur over a long period of time, even decades, before a cancer cell forms.
These tumor cells multiply and divide exponentially, meaning that one cell becomes two, two cells become four, and so on. That’s why a tumor size will increase more rapidly, the larger it becomes.
That said, not all cells are dividing at the same time. The cancer’s growth can change at different stages as a tumor forms. Compared with many types of cancer, breast cancer has a “low growth fraction.” This means that the proportion of cancer cells that are in an active cell cycle is low.
Some tumors, such as lymphomas and some leukemias, have much higher growth fractions. They may be active for a much shorter period of time before they are detected, even in children.
Does Pregnancy Affect Cancer Treatment
Pregnancy itself does not seem to affect how well cancer treatment works. Finding cancer in a later stage or not starting treatment right away can affect the results of the cancer treatment. Talk with your health care team about how different factors may affect your risk from the cancer and how you recover from treatment.
You May Like: Symptoms Of Late Stage Breast Cancer
Care During After Pregnancy
The teams looking after you will include cancer specialists, obstetricians and midwives.
You may be referred to a breast cancer team with expertise in treating women diagnosed during pregnancy.
Your maternity care should be given by an obstetrician and midwife who have experience in caring for women with cancer in pregnancy.
Second Cancers After Breast Cancer
Breast cancer survivors can be affected by a number of health problems, but often a major concern is facing cancer again. Cancer that comes back after treatment is called a recurrence. But some cancer survivors develop a new, unrelated cancer later. This is called a second cancer.
Women whove had breast cancer can still get other cancers. Although most breast cancer survivors dont get cancer again, they are at higher risk for getting some types of cancer, including:
- A second breast cancer
- Salivary gland cancer
- Melanoma of the skin
- Acute myeloid leukemia
The most common second cancer in breast cancer survivors is another breast cancer. The new cancer can occur in the opposite breast, or in the same breast for women who were treated with breast-conserving surgery .
You May Like: How Is Chemo Administered For Breast Cancer
Can Some Cancers Cause A False Positive Pregnancy Test
No. Pregnancy tests are looking for a hormone in your blood and urine that is only present when you are pregnant. Some infertility treatments have this hormone in them and therefore can show up a false positive. Cancer will not. Very occasionally an ovum is fertilised but the embryo does not develop and the placenta grows out of control. This will give a very strong positive on a pregnancy test and has to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. It is called a hydatidiform mole and may develop into a cancer. Ammendum:
After only minor investigation on the subject, I was able to find documented evidence of some cancers causing false positive pregnancy tests. One case study published by Tze-Kiong et al, of the Kaohsiung Medical University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, discussed the clinical history of two female cancer patients. One patient was diagnosed with Cervical cancer and the other with colon cancer. Both patients tested positive on urine pregnancy tests but otherwise were shown not to be pregnant. The article can be found on MedScape . Also certain types of ovarian, uterine, and breast cancers have been shown to cause excretion of HCG in the urine. Keep in mind that tumors utilize and secrete some of the same growth factors that zygotes and fetuses do considering that both tumors and newly fertilized eggs are characterized by rapid and expansive cell replication.
These 4 Factors Could Cause False Positives On Cancer Screenings
Avoid unnecessary stress by talking to your doctor about them BEFORE you’re screened.
“Early detection saves lives.” This mantrathe crux of countless public service announcements and awareness campaignsis as encouraging as it is empowering. It seems like common sense, really, since early-stage cancers are usually more treatable than those found later.
But the pros and cons of aggressively screening for cancers are more complex than that. Take mammography. If 10,000 women get screened every year starting at age 40, five of them will be saved from dying of breast cancer in the next decade. But about 6,000 will be called back for additional testing for a “false positive,” something that looks like cancer but turns out to be harmless: a cyst or calcium deposit, a benign tumor, or dense tissue.
Receiving a false positive can be stressful and follow-up visits to the doctor can be time-consuming and costly. To avoid them, here are a few unlikely things that can make mammograms more difficult to reador throw off the results altogether.
Recommended Reading: Ductal Carcinoma Stage 3
Breast Changes During Menopause Are Normal
Though breast changes might have an impact on your self-esteem, rest assured that it is normal. Almost all menopausal women will notice some breast changes from menopause when they look in the mirror.
The greater cause for concern is the increased risk of cysts, fibroids, and other abnormal growths in the breast tissue. Women can develop abnormal growths at any age, but menopausal women are certainly in a higher risk category. But if you notice a breast lump, dont wait to be offered to screen see your health care provider rule out breast cancer. Breast cancer is most common in women over 50.
You may feel discomfort in one breast or both breasts. Not all women experience breast discomfort in the same way. Breast pain in the postmenopausal years may be coming from the chest wall, arthritis of the spine, or, only rarely, from cancer.
Managing During And After Pregnancy
Being pregnant or caring for a new baby while having treatment for breast cancer is both physically and emotionally draining.
Talk to people close to you about how you feel and take up any offers of practical support and help.
You can also talk to your treatment team or your midwife if you are feeling overwhelmed or have any concerns.
Recommended Reading: Stage 2 Triple Positive Breast Cancer
Having To Go Allthetime
Theres nothing more annoying than having to take a bathroom break every fifteen minutes while on a road trip or at work. This is the life of every pregnant woman. The frequent urination is caused by an increase in blood flow through the kidneys as well as an increase of pressure put on the abdomen from the growing uterus. This is one of the first signs of pregnancy that a woman experiences even before her missed period and it lasts throughout the duration of the pregnancy. In addition to frequent urination, a woman may experience a change in smell or speed of flow.
But a change in urination doesnt always indicate a possible pregnancy. It is also a reported early symptom of bladder, ovarian, and cervical cancers. It can sometimes be presented with pain while urinating and other related symptoms. If cancer is suspected, your doctor may recommend a biopsy and other diagnostic procedures.
Risk Factors For The Development Of Pabc
As the majority of PABCs, and pregnancies, occur in women < 40 years, BRCA mutations are over-represented in this group. In women in their 20s, approximately 33% of breast cancers will be due to genetic mutations this number decreases to 22% in women in their 30s. All women younger than 40 years who are diagnosed with breast cancer should be offered genetic testing.
There is an increased incidence of ER-negative breast cancer during pregnancy, but this increase may be artificial, due to high circulating estrogen levels competing with the binding assay.
Is It Safe To Have Breast Cancer Treatment During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant and have breast cancer, you might have hard choices to make, so get expert help and be sure you know all your options. Pregnant women can safely get treatment for breast cancer, although the types of treatment used and the timing of treatment might be affected by the pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your treatment recommendations will depend on:
- The size of the tumor
- Where the tumor is located
- If the cancer has spread and if so, how far
- How far along you are in the pregnancy
- Your overall health
- Your personal preferences
It is generally safe to have surgery for breast cancer while youre pregnant. Chemotherapy seems to be safe for the baby if given in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, but it isnt safe in the first trimester. Other breast cancer treatments, such as hormone therapy, targeted therapy, and radiation therapy, are more likely to harm the baby and are not usually given during pregnancy.
Treatment choices can become complicated if there is a conflict between the best known treatment for the mother and the well-being of the baby. For example, if a woman is found to have breast cancer early in her pregnancy and needs chemotherapy right away, she may be advised to think about ending the pregnancy. A counselor or psychologist should also be part of your health care team to help give you the emotional support you may need.
Signs Of Breast Cancer Include A Lump Or Change In The Breast
- A lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the underarm area.
- A change in the size or shape of the breast.
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast.
- Fluid, other than breast milk, from the nipple, especially if it’s bloody.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin on the breast, nipple, or areola .
- Dimples in the breast that look like the skin of an orange, called peaudorange.
Recommended Reading: What Is Stage 3 Cancer In Lymph Nodes
Can A Pregnancy Test Predict Testicular Cancer
A social media post about a mans positive pregnancy test reportedly led to his testicular cancer diagnosis.
The man jokingly took the test which an ex-girlfriend had left behind in his medicine cabinet. He shared the surprising positive result with a friend, who shared the news on social media, carefully shielding the test-takers name to protect his privacy. The post quickly went viral and drew more than 1,600 comments.
If this is true, you should check yourself for testicular cancer. Seriously. Google it, read one of the comments.
A trip to the doctor revealed the male pregnancy-test-taker did, in fact, have testicular cancer.
Not all testicular cancers are alike
Pregnancy tests work by detecting human chorionic gonadotropin , a hormone in the blood and urine produced by the developing placenta.
It turns out that some types of testicular cancer make the same hormone.
So, is it worth running out to buy a pregnancy test to check for testicular cancer?
Theres no advantage to relying on a pregnancy test to self-diagnose testicular cancer. Its even dangerous to do so, says urologist Christopher Wood, M.D. Some forms of testicular cancer cause elevated HCG levels, but others dont. Someone could get false reassurance form a negative test or could have elevated HCG levels for another reason altogether.
He recommends performing a self-exam in the shower once a month, starting in puberty.
Testicular cancer risk factors
How is testicular cancer diagnosed?
Pregnancy Testing Urine And Serum **
Human chorionic gonadotropin is a glycoprotein hormone produced by the developing placenta shortly after fertilization. In normal pregnancy, hCG can be detected in both urine and serum as early as 7 to 10 days after conception. hCG levels continue to rise very rapidly, frequently exceeding 100 mIU/mL by the first missed menstrual period, and peaking in the 100,000-200,000 mIU/mL range about 10-12 weeks into pregnancy. The appearance of hCG in both the urine and serum soon after conception, and its subsequent rapid rise in concentration during early gestational growth, make it an excellent marker for the early detection of pregnancy
The Consult Diagnostics hCG Combo Test is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for the qualitative detection of human chorionic gonadotropin in urine or serum to aid in the early detection of pregnancy. The test utilizes a combination of antibodies including mouse monoclonal anti-hCG antibodies and goat polyclonal anti-hCG antibodies to selectively detect elevated levels of hCG. The assay is conducted by adding urine or serum to the specimen well of the test cassette and observing the formation of colored lines. The specimen migrates via capillary action along the membrane to react with the colored conjugate.
The test qualitatively detects the presence of hCG in urine specimen at the sensitivity of 20 mIU/mL for urine and 10 mIU/ml for serum.
DIRECTIONS FOR USE:
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
Don’t Miss: What Is Stage 3b Cancer
False Negative Pregnancy Test
Although false positive results tend to be more common than false negatives, it is possible for you to have a false negative on your pregnancy test. If you had a negative result on your pregnancy test and feel like you might be pregnant, consider if one of the following situations applies. These are the main reasons that you could have a false negative.
1. Testing Too Early
As mentioned earlier, pregnancy tests rely on the quantity of hCG in your urine to determine whether you have conceived. The placenta will start secreting this hormone immediately after implantation but that doesnt take place until seven to ten days after ovulation. After that the hCG levels will double every 48 to 72 hours but still wont reach the levels necessary to be detected by a home test until six or seven days after ovulation.
2. Low Sensitivity of Pregnancy Test
Another possible reason for a false negative is if the sensitivity of your home pregnancy test is too low. Some tests are highly sensitive and can detect as little as 20mIU/mL but many only detect a much higher quantity. If you are testing for your pregnancy soon after ovulation , then it is possible that a test that only detects levels of 100mIU/mL will not detect your pregnancy. A more sensitive one set for 50mIU/mL or less, however, will probably detect it in this case.
3. Diluted Urine
4. Missed Reaction Time
You Have More Power Than You Have Been Told
You have more power over your risk of breast cancer than you think. There are many steps you can take to protect yourself. Each one of them has other positive domino effects for your hormonal balance and overall health:
1. Help with Estrogen Metabolism
If theres one trio of supplements I recommend for preventing breast cancer and promoting overall hormone health, its the combination of DIM, sulforaphane, and calcium d-glucarate. Heres a breakdown of these major estrogen metabolizers.
DIM: Also known as diindolylmethane, DIM is a compound generated when the body breaks down cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. It is best known as a nutrient that supports healthy estrogen metabolism as well as the prevention of hormone-related cancers by its anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic effects. It supports:
- Phase 1 liver detoxification
- The breakdown of estrogen into clean estrogens, not the antagonistic dirty ones
- A healthy balance of testosterone and estrogen by acting as an aromatase inhibitor, blocking some testosterone from converting to estrogen
- The cells from the damaging effects of oxidation
I personally use and recommend our DIM. The recommended dose is 100 mg to 200 mg per day.
I personally use and recommend our Brocco Power . The recommended dosage is 500 mg a day.
I personally use and recommend our Calcium-D-Glucarate. Recommended dosage of calcium d-glucarate ranges from 150 mg to 300 mg per day, taken with meals.
For Breast Protection:
Don’t Miss: Third Stage Breast Cancer
Top Causes Of Breast Pain During Menopause
As with most physical changes and menopause symptoms, breast pain is linked to changing hormone levels in a womans body.
When estrogen and progesterone levels begin to fluctuate and then decline, this can give rise to a number of symptoms that may feel strange or downright scary at first.
But sore breasts in and of themselves are not a cause for alarm.
As hormone levels become increasingly erratic, this can also cause the breasts themselves to change in shape or size. This is due to changing tissue composition, according to WebMD.
Once the milk-producing gland system is no longer needed, it shuts down and decreases in size as well as in density. This can cause breasts to sag itself a potential cause for soreness and change in shape or size.
Another common reason for breast tenderness during perimenopause is the formation of fluid-filled cysts or benign lumps. Here again, changes to tissue composition as well as fluid retention are often responsible for these changes and are linked to hormonal fluctuations.