Chemotherapy appears safe in pregnancy: study

Treating pregnant cancer patients with powerful chemotherapy drugs appears not to harm their unborn children, but pre-term delivery to avoid subjecting them to chemotherapy does, according to a study. Scientists who studied the health and mental development of children born to mothers treated for cancer in pregnancy found they were not affected by chemotherapy, but were harmed if they were born prematurely, either naturally or by induction.

Results presented at meetings are usually considered preliminary, he said the data show there is no need for pregnant cancer patients to have abortions or delay chemotherapy treatment beyond the first trimester, but stressed that doctors should avoid inducing early birth if at all possible. An estimated 2,500 to 5,000 pregnant women in Europe are diagnosed with cancer each year — a diagnosis that is doubly traumatic as mothers-to-be worry that either the disease or the treatment could harm their unborn child. Read more…

 

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