Cancer during pregnancy is an uncommon phenomenon. Though medicine for oncology while pregnant appears to be there but still it poses significant issues. When it occurs it could pose a significant challenge not only to the patient but also the health care team. The doctors need to adopt a selective approach on how they are going to diagnose and treat cancer. Pretty much on the lines of medicine for immunology while pregnant you need to locate a doctor who has experience in treating cancer patients? You need to educate yourself on how to locate an oncologist.
Of the various types of cancer breast cancer does appear to be the most common type of cancer. 1 out of 1300 women is prone to it during the tenure of pregnancy. The changes in cancer could be very difficult to detect. It means that pregnant women with breast cancer would be detected much later than women who are not pregnant. Certain type of cancer is more common in younger lot like cervical cancer.
Detecting cancer when you are pregnant
When you are pregnant it goes on to delay the process of cancer diagnosis. The reason being some cancer symptoms like bloating, breast changes or headaches also tend to be a lot common during the first trimester of pregnancy. If you undertake a Pap test during the time of pregnancy you can figure out about cervical cancer. Ovarian cancer can be detected if you go on to perform an ultrasound.
There are some cancer tests that are safe for pregnant women along with the baby. But there are others that could really pose problems
- X rays- Research does showcase the fact that the levels of radiation in an x ray is too less to harm a developing baby. If still possible women can go on to use an lead shield that is going to cover the abdomen during pregnancy
- CT scans- there are similar in stature to x rays but work out to be more accurate. They can detect cancer or if it has gone on to spread. The ones undertaken on the chest or the head are considered to be safe. The reason being that the developing baby is not exposed to radiation. It is suggested that women do go on to use a shield when they opt for a CT scan. The scans of the pelvis or abdomen should only be undertaken once you have had a discussion with your health care team
- The various tests like MRI or biopsy are rated to be safe during the period of pregnancy.
How to treat cancer when you are pregnant
If you are planning treatment of cancer during pregnancy there is a multi-disciplinary team involved at work. Whatever treatment option would be considered would be taking into consideration the health along with the safety of the mother and the baby. The stage of the pregnancy along with the size and type of cancer tumour does have a definite say.