A latest study states that there is no variation in the severity of disease noticed in both; women who get breast cancer while pregnant or afterward; and in other women suffering from this form of cancer. This study was conducted by the researchers at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
It is stated that the onset of breast cancer during pregnancy or pregnancy-associated breast cancers, as it is commonly known, either develop during pregnancy itself or in less than one year after pregnancy. Earlier researches on the issue have hinted at the role that pregnancy plays in reducing the survival rate of breast cancer patients. The present study was conducted with the aim of clarifying this issue.
The study investigators evaluated the medical records of more than 650 breast cancer patients, aged 35 or younger. Out of the 668 breast cancers, about 104 were pregnancy associated, 51 were developed during pregnancy, while 53 were developed within one year after pregnancy.
Dr. George Perkins, along with Dr. Beth Beadle and colleagues stated that, “Primary care and reproductive physicians should be aggressive in the work-up of breast symptoms in the pregnant population to expedite diagnosis and allow multidisciplinary treatment. Balancing the health of mother and child is… paramount; new evidence suggests that both can be prioritized and successful outcomes managed for both.”
It was noticed that in all the patients, no significant variation in the severity of cancer or likelihood of survival was noticed. A major set-back was that a delay in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment took place due to pregnancy. It is stated that in the pregnancy-associated breast cancer patients, treatments during pregnancy supposedly increased their survival rate, rather than waiting to conduct treatments after their delivery.
Their findings are published in the CANCER issue, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.