Breast Cancer Treatment For Women of Childbearing Age
It doesn’t matter how old you are, as a woman you are at risk of breast cancer even though it not common for younger women to get breast cancer. It is very complicated and upsetting to be diagnosed with cancer within your childbearing age. In most cases, this is very unexpected.
If you develop breast cancer at a younger age, then you need to make very important and difficult decision about your life and your future. This may lead you to approach life very differently than you originally expected.
It is very rare to develop breast cancer while you are pregnant but it can still happen. When it happens this way, then the treatment should be chosen not only with the affected patient in mind but also with the growing fetus inside her.
Thorough checks must to be conducted on her to determine the stage of the pregnancy and the stage of the cancer before a treatment is settled on.
In most of such cases, pregnant women are treated for the breast cancer and their babies are not affected. But in some cases, it will be risky to receive certain needed treatment with pregnancy. When it happens this way, then obstetricians and health-care practitioners advice for the pregnancy to be terminated, especially in cases where the pregnancy is in its early stage. However, the finally decision to terminate the pregnancy rests on the woman carrying the baby.
The fetus will not be affect in any way from the breast cancer but only that, certain tests and treatments will have bad effect on it. The option for treatment will therefore be limited if the pregnancy is not terminated. Medically, it is not necessary to terminate the pregnancy if the test and treatment will not affect the fetus.
Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation, tamoxifen and other identified drug-related therapies are generally avoided when treating an expectant mother. Such treatment can easily lead to large extent of birth defects. Tamoxifen which is a hormonal therapy is particular classified very unsafe for expectant mother or someone planning to conceive. In addition, taking tamoxifen after chemotherapy to prevent recurrence is as well not encouraged if the woman desires to become pregnant right away. On the other hand, surgery, either mastectomy or lumpectomy is most favored in situations of expectant women
Another controversial issue concerning breast cancer and child bearing is whether or not breast cancer survivors can or should go ahead and have children after they recover from treatment.
Firm advocates on both sides of the debate raises some good questions about the situation such as:
1) To what extent do breast cancer treatments affect fertility? and
2) How safe it is to conceive and carry a baby after breast cancer treatments?
As far as fertility is concern, it is hard to get exact answer here. For example, with chemotherapy the extent to which it affect fertility depends on the age of the victim and the specific drug used.
The ideal situation according to many doctors is for breast cancer survivors to wait several years to ensure the disease is completely cure and has no possibility of recurrence before they think about child bearing. However, some women decide to go ahead and have babies right away, since it’s so important to them.