Pregnancy and Cancer: What You Need to Know

Finding out you’re pregnant can be one of the most joyous experiences of your life. Finding out that you have cancer will be the polar opposite of that. So what are you supposed to feel if you find out you’re pregnant and you have cancer?

To be transparent, getting pregnant while having cancer is uncommon, but it’s not impossible. And since pregnant women are already at a disadvantage when it comes to what medications to avoid while pregnant, what exercises to avoid, etc., having cancer adds an extra level of stress.

However, with the advances in technology, it’s important that you truly understand what to expect if in this situation. The following are a few things you need to know about pregnancy and cancer.

Talk with your doctor.

The first thing you need to remember is to talk with your doctor. These medical professionals are trained to give you their very best opinion and care. It may be possible that you can undergo treatment while keeping the baby. Depending on the severity, it may be likely that treatment could cause you to miscarry. There are a variety of circumstances, so it’s always best to talk openly with your doctor about your options and the risks to both you and the baby.

Research treatments.

There are different treatment options available to women who are pregnant. Typically, surgery is the most common, as it poses less risk to the mother and fetus. However, it’s also possible that you can undergo chemotherapy treatments too, depending on type, stage, and other health factors. If traditional treatments concern you, take some time to research alternative cancer treatments. These treatments use natural remedies to treat cancer. These typically do not pose any risk to the fetus, but they are not medically backed by any organization, so the choice is something you need to make on your own.

Share your wishes.

You have the ultimate say in how you treat your cancer and handle your pregnancy, but it’s very important that you share your wishes with your loved ones and your doctors. For example, your doctor will need to know your desires regarding medication and treatment. If you were in an emergency situation, the doctor would need to know if they were to put your life or the baby’s life first. All of this needs to be shared so that you and your medical team are on the same page.

Post-baby concerns.

If you successfully give birth to your baby, there are things you will need to know regarding your cancer and your post-baby care. For example, if you are receiving chemotherapy treatments, you should not breastfeed your baby. You may also feel extremely weak due to childbirth and the illness, so it may be wise for you to not walk with the baby or do anything with the child unsupervised. To ensure you are handling your new bundle of joy and managing your cancer, you should consult with your doctor.

Dealing with cancer while pregnant may not be your ideal situation, but it’s something you can manage with the right information.