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Pregnancy and breast cancer

Pregnancy and breast cancer


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Every time we delay more the age to get pregnant and this fact influences our state of health. Whereas 20 years ago, the number of women who became pregnant around the age of 35 was 35 percent, today the average age for women to have their first child is 35. This is one of the reasons why breast cancer is being diagnosed in pregnancy today.

However, the diagnosis of cancer during pregnancy is rare. It only appears in 2 or 3 cases of every 100,000 pregnant women and the reason that the presence of cancer has been increasing in recent years is due to the fact that women are becoming mothers at a later age.

Early detection remains the most important thing because the earlier it is detected, the more likely it is to beat it. However, the biggest problem in these cases is detection in early stages, since during pregnancy and breastfeeding, changes occur in the mammary gland, which favor changes in breast density and its increase in size and shape, which which makes it harder to detect small tumors.

The best recommendation for all women is to continue to self-examine periodically during pregnancy and if there is any suspicion, go to the specialist for a breast ultrasound, since the ultrasound does not cause harm to the baby. Ultrasound can provide an accurate diagnosis, even when the density of the mammary gland is increased.

If the diagnosis confirms breast cancer in pregnancy, the biggest concern is what will happen to the baby that is on the way, since it all depends on the trimester of the pregnancy in which the cancer has been diagnosed. Chemotherapy treatment cannot be applied in the first trimester of pregnancy because there could be the possibility of malformations or abortion, however it is possible to apply it in the second trimester. In contrast, radiation is not recommended at any stage of pregnancy, due to a high risk of harm to the fetus. Therefore, the treatment of choice is surgery (mastectomy, if necessary), allowing the pregnancy to advance a little and then giving chemotherapy.

During breastfeeding, changes in the mammary glands make it harder to detect tumors. However, in the event of any anomaly, it is very important to suspend breastfeeding and not leave it for later because it can be too late.

Marisol New. Guiainfantil.com

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