Pregnancy affects breast cancer risk
Pregnancy stops monthly menstrual cycles and shifts the hormone balance to progesterone instead of estrogen; thus women who become pregnant while they are young and have many pregnancies may have slightly lower risk of breast cancer later on because they are exposed to less estrogen.
Breast Cancer diagnosis while pregnant
- Mammograms are considered fairly safe during pregnancy.
- Breast biopsy – ie core needle biopsy can be done during pregnancy.
- MRI without contrast can be done while pregnant.
- Chest X-Rays can be done.
Treating Breast Cancer while Pregnant
- Surgeries can be done; however, SLN might be limited.
- Radiation is usually given after delivery.
- Chemo can start in the second trimester. Induction chemotherapy can start (ie. for tumors fixed to the skin – stage III)
- Hormone therapy should not be used during pregnancy.