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Breast Cancer in Pregnancy

Breast cancer during pregnancy is very rare. Breast cancer is found in about 1 in every 3,000 pregnant women. It can be found during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, or within the first year of delivery. 

Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy have tremendous additional strain due to concern for the safety of the unborn child. It can be a traumatic and extremely difficult situation, but there is still hope for both mother and child, thanks to the many treatment options available.

The treatment options are different for each stage of pregnancy, you and your doctors will need to work out what is best for you and your baby so that both of you receive the best possible care.

The type of treatment you have will depend on

  • The type and stage of your breast cancer
  • How many weeks pregnant you are (which trimester you are in)
  • What you and your family want

Most women are able to carry on with their pregnancy. Rarely, some may need to think about whether to end the pregnancy (termination). Termination is a very difficult, personal decision and one that only you can make. It can help to discuss this with your family, your specialist nurse, your cancer specialist, and your obstetrician.

A diagnosis of breast cancer during pregnancy is very stressful and emotionally very upsetting. Apart from having advises from your cancer specialists and surgeons, it is important to get practical and emotional support from the people around you, as well as other specialists, such as breast care nurses, professional counsellors and clinical psychologists.

In the past, people thought that breast cancers found during pregnancy grew more quickly than other breast cancers and had a worse outlook. But research shows that pregnancy does not affect the outlook.

Other Conditions

  • FRACS
  • Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand
  • Health Central Coast
  • Health Hunter New England Local Health District
  • Gosford Private Hospital
  • Lake Macquarie Private Hospital
  • Maitland Private Hospital
  • Brisbane Water Private Hospital
  • Berkeley Vale Private Hospital