Do Abortions Cause Breast Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental data demonstrate that spontaneous or induced abortions do not significantly alter the risk of breast cancer. In this study, we briefly discuss the different types and stages of breast cancer, various risk factors, and potential mechanisms involved in early full-term pregnancy-induced protection against breast cancer.
Immunotherapy Drugs During Pregnancy
Most immunotherapy drugs have not been studied in pregnancy, so they aren’t considered safe to give.
However, rituximab, a drug used to treat certain lymphomas and leukemias, can be used with caution in the second and third trimesters. Interferon-alpha is another immunotherapy drug that can be used safely during the entire pregnancy, but it is not often used for cancer treatment.
Overall, the use of immunotherapy drugs is usually delayed until after birth.
Breast Cancer During Pregnancy: A Marked Propensity To Triple
- 1College of Medicine, QU Health, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
- 2Biomedical Research Center, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar
Breast and cervical cancers comprise 50% of all cancers during pregnancy. In particular, gestational breast cancer is considered one of the most aggressive types of cancers, which is a rare but fatal disease. However, the incidence of this type of cancer is increasing over the years and its prevalence is expected to rise further as more women delay childbearing. Breast cancer occurring after pregnancy is generally triple negative with specific characterizations of a poorer prognosis and outcome. On the other hand, it has been pointed out that this cancer is associated with a specific group of genes which can be used as precise targets to manage this deadly disease. Indeed, combination therapies consisting of gene-based agents with other cancer therapeutics is presently under consideration. We herein review recent progress in understanding the development of breast cancer during pregnancy and their unique subtype of triple negative which is the hallmark of this type of breast cancer.
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Can Breast Cancer Spread To The Baby
Breast cancer has never been found to spread from the mother to the fetus. But in a few rare cases, the cancer has reached the placenta . This could affect the amount of nutrition the fetus gets from the mother.
For answers to some common questions about pregnancy after having had breast cancer, see Pregnancy After Breast Cancer.
Treatments That Typically Are On Hold Until After Delivery
Some treatments for breast cancer can harm the baby and are not safe during pregnancy. If these treatments are needed, they are usually scheduled after the baby is born.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy to the breast is often used after breast-conserving surgery to help reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. The high doses of radiation used for this can harm the baby any time during pregnancy. This may cause miscarriage, birth defects, slow fetal growth, or a higher risk of childhood cancer. Because of this, doctors dont use radiation treatment during pregnancy.
For some women whose cancer is found later in the pregnancy, it may be possible to have a lumpectomy during pregnancy and then wait until after the baby is born to get radiation therapy. But this treatment approach has not been well-studied. Waiting too long to start radiation can increase the chance of the cancer coming back.
Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is often used as treatment after surgery or as treatment for advanced breast cancer in women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. Hormone therapy drugs used for breast cancer include tamoxifen, anastrozole, letrozole, and exemestane.
Hormone therapy should not be given during pregnancy because it can affect the baby. It should be delayed until after the woman has given birth.
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Tests That Examine The Breasts Are Used To Diagnose Breast Cancer
The following tests and procedures may be used:
- Physical exam and health history: An exam of the body to check general signs of health, including checking for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patients health habits and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.
- Clinical breast exam : An exam of the breast by a doctor or other health professional. The doctor will carefully feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
- Ultrasound exam: A procedure in which high-energy sound waves are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. The picture can be printed to look at later.
- Mammogram: An x-ray of the breast. A mammogram can be done with little risk to the fetus. Mammograms in pregnant women may appear negative even though cancer is present. Enlarge Mammography. The breast is pressed between two plates. X-rays are used to take pictures of breast tissue.
- Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope by a pathologist to check for signs of cancer. If a lump in the breast is found, a biopsy may be done.
There are three types of breast biopsies:
- Excisional biopsy: The removal of an entire lump of tissue.
- Core biopsy: The removal of tissue using a wide needle.
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy: The removal of tissue or fluid, using a thin needle.
Fathering A Child After Cancer Treatment
Men can try to have a child after cancer treatment ends. There are no firm rules for how long men should wait after treatment, but health care providers usually recommend waiting 2 to 5 years. Sperm may be damaged by chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Those sperm should be replaced in 2 years. Even if a child is conceived soon after treatment ends, there is no research showing that he or she will have a greater risk of developing serious health problems.
Is Estrogen A Risk Factor For Breast Cancer
Studies have also shown that a womans risk of breast cancer is related to the estrogen and progesterone made by her ovaries . Being exposed for a long time and/or to high levels of these hormones has been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Increases in exposure can be caused by starting menstruation early, going through menopause late, being older at first pregnancy, and never having given birth. Conversely, having given birth is a protective factor for breast cancer.
Is Anesthesia Safe During Pregnancy
Surgery for breast cancer generally carries little risk to the baby. But there are certain times in pregnancy when anesthesia may be risky for the baby.
Your surgeon and anesthesiologist, along with a high-risk obstetrician , will need to work together to decide the best time during pregnancy to operate. If the surgery is done later in the pregnancy, your obstetrician may be there just in case there are any problems with the baby during surgery. Together, your doctors will decide which anesthesia drugs and techniques are the safest for both you and the baby.
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Other Concerns About Having A Child After Cancer Treatment
Risk of children getting cancer. Many people who have had cancer worry that their children may get cancer, too. Research shows that children of people with cancer and cancer survivors do not have a higher risk of the disease. But a few cancers are passed from parents to children through genes. If you have one of these hereditary cancers, there may be higher risk. Talk with your health care provider or a genetic counselor about having children. They can help you understand cancer risk and genetics.
Risk of cancer recurrence. Studies show that getting pregnant does not seem to make cancer return. Some health care providers advise breast cancer survivors to wait 2 years before trying to get pregnant. There is a link between some hormones that rise during pregnancy and the growth of breast cancer cells. But there is no scientific proof that cancer risk increases if a woman gets pregnant within 2 years of completing treatment. Some studies even suggest that risk of breast cancer recurrence is lower after a subsequent pregnancy.
For some survivors, getting pregnant may require stopping certain medications. But stopping medications such as tamoxifen or imatinib raises the risk of cancer returning. People who are planning to have children need to talk about how much risk they are willing to accept. Talk with your health care team and a fertility specialist before trying to get pregnant after cancer.
How Can I Prevent Breast Cancer After Pregnancy
What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. Maintain a healthy weight. If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. Be physically active. Breast-feed. Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy.
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Can I Get A Mammogram If Im Pregnant
Mammograms can find most breast cancers that start when a woman is pregnant, and its generally thought to be safe to have a mammogram during pregnancy. The amount of radiation needed for a mammogram is small, and the radiation is focused on the breasts, so most of it doesnt reach other parts of the body.
Surgery And Radiation Therapy
Breast surgery is safe during pregnancy.
Although the anesthesia used during surgery can cross the placenta to the fetus, it doesnt appear to cause birth defects or serious pregnancy problems .
Breast reconstruction, however, should be delayed until after the baby is born to avoid further anesthesia and the chance for blood loss.
Radiation therapy is needed after a lumpectomy, but radiation can harm the fetus. So, a mastectomy is usually recommended for pregnant women who are in their first trimester and want to continue their pregnancy .
Some women in their second or third trimester may consider a lumpectomy . In these cases, radiation therapy is delayed until after the baby is born. This delay doesnt affect prognosis .
Some women in their second or third trimester may have chemotherapy before surgery .
What Are The Cancer Risk Reduction Options For Women Who Are At Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer But Not At The Highest Risk
Risk-reducing surgery is not considered an appropriate cancer prevention option for women who are not at the highest risk of breast cancer . However, some women who are not at very high risk of breast cancer but are, nonetheless, considered as being at increased risk of the disease may choose to use drugs to reduce their risk.
Pregnancy After Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is most common in older women. But if you are a younger woman who has had breast cancer, you might question if this has affected your fertility and if there are any extra risks if you become pregnant.
Many women are able to become pregnant after being treated for breast cancer. However, some treatments can make it harder to get pregnant. If you think you might want to have children one day, or just want to keep your options open, the best time to talk to your doctor about this is before you begin breast cancer treatment.
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What Are The Factors That Determine Breast Cancer Risk
Other factors are likely more important than pregnancy history when determining your overall breast cancer risk. A family history of breast cancer or a known genetic mutation linked to breast cancer are probably stronger factors in your personal risk profile. If you dont know your personal risk of breast cancer, it makes sense to talk to your doctor about scheduling time to talk about risk factors and use a tool or calculator to estimate your risk. Once you know your risk, you and your doctor can develop a breast cancer screening plan that meets your individual needs and gives you peace of mind.
Is It Possible For A Child To Get Breast Cancer
Breastcancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breastcancer may occur in both male and female children.. Breastcancer is the most common cancer among females aged 15 to 39 years. Breastcancer in this age group is more aggressive and more difficult to treat than in older women. Treatments for younger and older women are similar.
Checking Lymph Nodes For Cancer Spread
In addition to removing the tumor in the breast, one or more lymph nodes in the underarm area also need to be removed to check if the cancer has spread. One way to do this is an axillary lymph node dissection . This is often the standard procedure for pregnant women with breast cancer and removes many of the lymph nodes under the arm. Another procedure, called a sentinel lymph node biopsy , might be an option depending on how far along you are in pregnancy and your cancer stage. SLNB allows the doctor to remove fewer nodes, but there are concerns about the effects the SLNB dye might have on the baby. Because of these concerns, most experts recommend that SLNB only be used in certain situations such as later in pregnancy, and that the blue dye not be used during the procedure.
What To Look For
If you find a lump or other changes in your breasts that concern you, dont ignore them. Tell your doctor or nurse right away. Any suspicious breast changes should be checked out or even biopsied before assuming they are a normal response to pregnancy.
Along with a clinical breast exam, several types of imaging tests can be used to look for breast abnormalities, if needed. Typically a breast ultrasound and/or mammogram can be done. A breast biopsy is often another option, especially if imaging tests show a suspicious finding.
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How Long After Breast Cancer Treatment Can You Have A Baby
For women who have had breast cancer, pregnancy does not seem to affect their survival. However, some doctors recommend that a woman wait 2 years after treatment for breast cancer before trying to have a baby, so that any early return of the cancer would be detected. This may affect a womans decision to become pregnant. The unborn baby does not seem to be affected if the mother has had breast cancer.
Is It Safe To Continue The Pregnancy
Terminating a pregnancy is not usually recommended when breast cancer is diagnosed.
Most women continue their pregnancy while having breast cancer treatment. However, some women choose not to.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy is a very personal one. It can be made only by you, or you and your partner if you have one, after a discussion with your treatment team and obstetrician .
Theres no evidence to suggest a termination will improve the outcome for women with breast cancer during pregnancy.
However, a termination may be discussed if chemotherapy is recommended during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This might be the case if you have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.
Take time to make the right choice for you after discussions with your treatment team.
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Finding Breast Cancer During Pregnancy
Breast cancer during pregnancy isn’t common. But if you find a lump or notice any changes in your breasts that concern you, tell your doctor or nurse right away. There are a variety of tests a pregnant woman can have if breast cancer is suspected. And there are options for treating breast cancer if you are pregnant.
If you are pregnant and breast cancer is found, it may be called gestational breast cancer or pregnancy-associated breast cancer .
Search Results And Study Characteristics
We initially identified 12,414 articles and screened their titles and abstracts . After duplicated and irrelevant articles were excluded, 54 articles with 76 studies met the inclusion criteria and were thus included in our meta-analysis. The quality of the studies was assessed based on the NOS and ranged from 6 to 9 . The characteristics of the studies are summarized in Table .
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Cancer Surgery During Pregnancy
Surgery is sometimes part of the treatment for cancer. It is generally safe during pregnancy, and it may be considered depending on where the cancer is in the body. Surgery is typically believed to be safest if done in the second or early third trimester, but it can be done any time during the pregnancy, depending on the situation.
The type of surgery a person might have depends on the extent of the cancer and at what point during the pregnancy the cancer is diagnosed. Sometimes, surgery might be done laparoscopically, which uses smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery usually results in less blood loss, less pain, a shorter recovery time, and fewer preterm contractions compared to open surgery.
Checking lymph nodes for cancer spread
Along with removing the cancer, a surgeon might need to remove one or more nearby lymph nodes to check if the cancer has spread to them.
One way to do this is with a lymph node dissection , in which many of the lymph nodes near the cancer are removed. This is often the preferred procedure during pregnancy.
Is anesthesia safe during pregnancy?
Surgery for cancer in areas other than the abdomen and pelvis generally carries little risk to the fetus. But there are certain times during pregnancy when anesthesia may be risky for the baby.