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On rare occasions, cancer coincides with pregnancy. Because the
medicines and radiation used for treating cancer can be dangerous to a fetus,
a pregnant woman and her doctors must weigh a number of factors when planning
her care, including:
In nonpregnant women, surgery may be used to remove cancer,
depending on the cancer's type and location. After surgery to remove cancer,
radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of the two may be used to kill any
remaining cancer cells. When treating a pregnant woman, doctors adjust the
usual treatment regimen with the following in mind.
Whenever possible, doctors try to delay chemotherapy during pregnancy
to minimize the effects on the fetus. Such decisions depend on how advanced the
cancer is and how quickly it is developing.
If you have been diagnosed with cancer during your pregnancy, you
will be working with a number of health professionals. Ask your cancer
specialist (oncologist) for the name of a licensed medical social worker who
can help support you through your treatment. A social worker can also help
coordinate the various professionals involved with your care.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofJuly 10, 2015
Current as of:
July 10, 2015
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
& E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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