Reassurance

Experts say pregnant women with cancer can be treated without harm to the fetus

REUTERS/Jim Bourg

A new study by cancer experts has found that chemotherapy and other treatments on pregnant women with cancer do not adversely affect the health of their baby, so women should not delay their treatment until after birth or opt for a premature birth. Nevertheless, the researchers also stressed that their findings are only valid for women who did not receive treatment in the first 12 to 14 weeks of their pregnancy, which is when the chance of birth defects is the greatest. The study found that children born to women who had been treated in their second or third trimester developed normally: “We found no significant differences in mental development among children exposed to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery alone or no treatment,” said Professor Frederic Amant, gynecological oncologist at the Catholic University of Leuven, in Belgium, and lead author of the study. “To some extent it’s quite surprising because cancer treatment is quite toxic.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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