Pregnancy and Breast cancer: What happens to my baby if I have breast cancer?

Updated on 20 October 2022

Breast Cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting women worldwide. As per the statistics released by the World Health Organisation. Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide in women. It accounts for 12% of all cancer cases diagnosed annually worldwide. Breast cancer is also the 2nd most common cancer to be diagnosed in pregnant and postpartum women & affects about 1 in 3,000 pregnant women.

Breast Cancer & Pregnancy

Breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or the first postpartum year is referred to as Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer or PABC. Researchers anticipate that as breast cancer cases continue to rise and more women delay childbearing, cases of PABC may increase, as the risk of developing breast cancer increases with advancing age.

Pregnancy in itself can be a time of stress and a whirlwind of changes in a woman's body. If, during this time, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, the stress can be imagined to be nothing less than overbearing and overwhelming. 

It can adversely affect women's mental condition aggravating their physical condition. Correct information and support are key to dealing with breast cancer during pregnancy.

Breast Cancer Treatment during Pregnancy

Treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy requires a multidisciplinary approach taken by experienced oncologists and obstetricians. The course of treatment of breast cancer after Breast Cancer Detection in pregnant women is based on several factors. The oncologist and obstetrician will analyse the condition of the pregnancy and the stage of cancer to decide the course of treatment. 

Some forms of treatments like radiation may have to be delayed until delivery. Cancer surgery & chemotherapy may be done during pregnancy after necessary evaluations.

Does Breast Cancer Affect Pregnancy and the Baby?

Researchers have found no evidence to indicate that cancer will directly harm the baby if cancer is diagnosed during pregnancy. Research has shown that ending the pregnancy won't improve your chances of beating cancer. However, the treatment of breast cancer may pose risks to the pregnancy itself.

Breastfeeding with Breast Cancer

Another common worry that women with breast cancer have postpartum is whether they will be able to breastfeed the baby. Chemotherapy and certain medications can be secreted in the breast milk, and thus harm the baby. Breastfeeding is therefore not an option for many women with ongoing cancer treatment.

The Takeaway

If you or someone you know is pregnant and going through breast cancer treatment or has had breast cancer in the past, we recommend that you talk at length with your doctor at one of the best cancer hospitals in Hyderabad. All the questions that you may have regarding your condition will be best answered by the medical expert or oncologist. 

It is essential to identify the early signs of breast cancer or facts and myths, and doctors can help clarify all your doubts. Having such clarity will help in reducing your stress and focusing on your condition for optimum treatment.





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