AACR Logo Incidence of pregnancy among breast cancer patients may be up to 2 to 3 percent, but delaying childbirth increases instances of cancer cases among expecting mothers. According to a recent study, pregnant cancer patients can continue with the pregnancy and start a treatment as closely as possible to standard recommendations. It was suggested that treatment of breast cancer must not be delayed among expecting mothers.

Data from 313 women, aged 23 to 47 years diagnosed with breast cancer while expecting was thoroughly scrutinized by the authors. The data included information about the impact on infants. All the participants had various subtypes of breast cancer in different stages when diagnosed. While 23 percent were in the first trimester and 42 percent in the second, 36 percent had been within the third trimester. Women were either provided with various treatment regimens or chemotherapy. The outcome was that two newborns died shortly after birth and 29 did not continue the pregnancy.

Premature deliveries were seemingly common among women who did not receive chemotherapy than those subjected to chemotherapy. Infants of the women receiving chemotherapy probably weighed a little more than those who did not receive chemotherapy. Babies belonging to both the groups reported congenital problems, majority of which, were related to premature birth. Sibylle Loibl, Dr. med, of the German Breast Group and lead author, and colleagues also analyzed treatment effects on the women. It appeared that the median overall disease-free survival of the mothers was 27 months and median overall survival was 55 months. It was concluded that pregnant cancer patients have to continue the pregnancy and start with a treatment as per the standard recommendations for non-pregnant women.

The study was presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.