5 Things to Know About Cancer During Pregnancy

5 Things to Know About Cancer During Pregnancy

The moment you hear the word “cancer”, it stimulates fear in one’s mind. The never-ending questions starts building up in your head and it could be quite overwhelming. While cancer during pregnancy is not that common, it goes without saying that you may be worried for yourself and most importantly your baby. How will cancer affect your pregnancy? Will it harm the fetus? Can you take treatment while being pregnant? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this blog. Read further about 5 things that you should know about cancer during pregnancy.

5 Things to Know About Cancer During Pregnancy -

• What are the common signs of cancer during pregnancy?

The cases of cancer during pregnancy are rare but you can’t completely eliminate it. It is estimated that this rare occurrence happens to only 1 in every 1000 pregnant women. Some of the common symptoms of pregnancy and cancer are - bloating, headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, breast changes, and rectal bleeding. As the signs and symptoms of cancer are the same as pregnancy symptoms, it becomes difficult to detect cancer and can cause delay in detection. If you come across any of the above, please consult a doctor immediately.

• Which kind of cancer are common during pregnancy?

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among pregnant women. It affects approximately 1 in 3000 pregnant women. Other kinds of cancer cases include cervical cancer, melanoma, thyroid cancer, gestational trophoblastic tumor, Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. These cases are also common in young women.

• How is cancer diagnosed in pregnant women and are the diagnostic tests safe?

As mentioned earlier, the symptoms for pregnancy and cancer overlapping causes difficulty in detecting cancer. However, there are some diagnostic tests such as X-Rays, CT scan, MRI, ultrasounds and biopsies conducted by doctor that are safe for mother and the baby. X-Ray rays are low in radiation so they do not harm the fetus. Still, doctors use shield over the abdomen to protect the baby. CT scan rays are more powerful. Just how pregnancy kit test results are accurate, the same way CT scan can exactly detect cancer in the body and also shows the part where it is spreading. A CT scan of head or neck is safe but an abdomen or pelvis scan should be done only if it’s necessary. Talk to your health care and take advice from them as they will be able to help you better.

• Which treatments are safe to treat cancer during pregnancy?

Performing cancer surgery during pregnancy requires utmost care. A team of healthcare workers including oncologists and obstetricians work together to provide you with the best option for treatment. They look at several factors like the type, size and stage of cancer and might suggest treatment accordingly. Surgery and chemotherapy are the safest option which doesn’t harm you or your baby. Your health team may also recommend whether to start your treatment in the first trimester or until after your baby is born. You can use Pregakem’s pregnancy due date calendar which will give you an estimated delivery-date.

• How does cancer affect pregnancy?

Cancer treatment doesn’t affect pregnancy. Finding cancer at a later stage can affect the result of the treatment. The mother can continue treatment after the baby is born. If a mother is on chemotherapy then breastfeeding is not recommended as there are chances of drugs being transferred to the baby.

With medical advancements, the treatment for cancer is constantly evolving. Researchers are always working to find new treatments and to study how the drug works, its effects and the breastmilk concentration. After receiving positive results in the pregnancy detection kit test, consult your doctor. It is always better to talk to a specialist if you have any queries as they will be able to help you better. They will provide you with the best treatments keeping in mind your safety and your baby’s health.


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