Cancer is a difficult enough diagnosis to receive, but when you’re pregnant, it can be even more overwhelming. Cancer during pregnancy is rare, but it can happen, and it’s important to understand the impact that cancer treatments can have on your developing baby.
When a woman is diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy, her healthcare team must consider the safety of both the mother and the fetus. In some cases, delaying treatment until after the baby is born may be an option, but in others, prompt treatment is necessary.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are the two most common cancer treatments, but they can have serious side effects. Chemotherapy can affect the fetus by reducing the number of red and white blood cells, as well as platelets. Radiation therapy can also cause damage to the developing fetus, especially if the uterus is in the direct path of the radiation.
Surgery is another option for treating cancer during pregnancy, and it can be a safer option for both the mother and the fetus. It is important to note that general anesthesia is usually safe during pregnancy, but the fetus may be at a higher risk of complications if the surgery is performed in the second or third trimester.
Hormone therapy and targeted therapy are two other cancer treatments that can be used during pregnancy, but they are typically used as a last resort because they are not well-studied in pregnant women.
When it comes to cancer treatments during pregnancy, the most important thing is to work with your healthcare team to come up with a plan that’s right for you. They will take into account your individual medical history, the stage of your pregnancy, and the type of cancer you have. They will also closely monitor your health and the health of your developing baby.
In conclusion, it’s essential to understand that cancer treatments during pregnancy can have an impact on your developing baby. However, with the right care and support, you can navigate this difficult time and protect your baby. If you’re diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy, be sure to work closely with your healthcare team to find the best course of treatment for you and your baby.