Pregnancy doesn’t worsen breast cancer, study shows

ATLANTA (AP) – Pregnant women who develop breast cancer do not have worse odds of death or of cancer returning than other young breast cancer patients, a new study has found.

The study is one of the largest to look at whether breast cancer hits pregnant and recently women harder than other women. It contradicts some smaller, earlier studies that suggested maternity made thing worse.

“If we can get them early, we can treat them aggressively and have good and promising outcomes for both woman and child,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Beth Beadle of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

The Houston hospital has the world’s largest registry of pregnant breast cancer patients and their children.

Frightening for any woman, a breast cancer diagnosis is particularly terrifying for a pregnant woman. It presents complicated decisions abut how to treat the mother and not harm the fetus. Some doctors recommend abortion so they can focus on treating the mother.

In the new study, being published in the journal Cancer, researchers analyzed data from 652 women ages 35 and younger who were treated for breast cancer at M.D. Anderson from 1973 through 2006.

The study group included 104 women with pregnancy-associated cancer s – 51 who had breast cancer during pregnancy, and 53 who developed the illness within a year after.

The rates of cancer recurrence, cancer spread and survival were about the same for the women with pregnancy-associated breast cancers as they were for other women, the researchers found. The researchers calculated the rates for 10 years after the cancer diagnosis.

The women who were pregnant had tumors at a more advanced stage, probably because women and their doctors may have discounted breast changes, attributing them to breastfeeding or pregnancy, the researchers believe.


source: Philippine Star
Health & Medicine