Here is some good news for women facing bad news. Studies are finding that pregnant women fighting cancer can undergo treatment without any harm to their unborn child.
After assessing 70 children exposed to chemotherapy in the womb, a Belgian study has found that they developed just like any other child.
It's a good thing this research was carried out too because some doctors recommend terminating the pregnancy if the mother had to undergo cancer treatment, as study author Dr. Frederic Amant explained:
"Many (doctors) aren’t keen to give chemotherapy to pregnant women and may even recommend termination. But treating a pregnant woman with cancer doesn’t have to be so different from treating a cancer patient who isn’t pregnant.”
In the case a mother-to-be is diagnosed with cancer, the study found chemotherapy is possible during the first trimester while using ultrasounds to monitor the baby's development.
The study suggests radiation therapy is best done in the first two trimesters, as the baby is small enough to be covered with a lead blanket.
"These data don’t say that chemotherapy is completely safe, but the baby is better off being in (the mother) as long as possible,” added obstetric physician Dr. Catherine Nelson-Piercy.
[Image via WENN.]