KNOWLEDGE AROUND CANCER & PREGNANCY
Answers to your cancer and pregnancy questions
Knowledge around cancer and pregnancy (inc. Signs and Symptoms)
News of a cancer diagnosis during pregnancy or shortly after birth is often met with shock. Many people tell us that they did not know it was possible. However, cancer can be diagnosed at any time in any person and therefore the diagnosis during pregnancy is a coincidence rather than a cause.
Due to the many-body changes during the course of pregnancy and in the weeks after delivery, some of the early signs of cancers can be mistaken for being pregnancy-related. We refer to this as ‘symptom shielding’. It is correct to not wish to alarm women into thinking that everything they feel could be the sign of something far more sinister but body awareness is key.
Approximately 2 women a day receive a diagnosis of cancer in pregnancy/postnatally. This equates to 1 in every 1000 pregnant women (Public Health England 2018).
While there has not been a huge amount of research carried out into this area, general guidance is to follow treatment plans for non-pregnant women as closely and safely as possible. This means working to maintain birth preferences and choices for your partner.
We work closely with members of INCIP to raise awareness of the choices families have in this situation.
Treatment & options
We realise having a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and worrying. Being pregnant or a new mum with a baby to consider can bring additional fears and practical issues. These are some of the questions that our mums ask: