Malignancies in Pregnancy Explored in Lancet Series

Share this article:

(ChemotherapyAdvisor) – Treatment of women diagnosed with cervical, ovarian, breast, and hematologic cancers in pregnancy is the focus of three articles published in The Lancet February 10. Up to 1 in 1,000 pregnancies is affected by cancer, and this number is expected to rise as women postpone pregnancy. The current trend is to preserve pregnancy wherever possible.

The first article explores issues around gynecological cancer, of which cervical and ovarian are the most common. Management of patients with cervical cancer is controversial and complex, the authors note, and should be discussed on a case-by-case basis “according to the tumor size, radiological findings, the term of pregnancy, and the patient's wishes.” For ovarian cancer, use of chemotherapy is possible in the second or third trimester.

The second article notes that breast cancer during pregnancy is not an emergency; therefore, time should be taken to determine a multidisciplinary approach. Both surgery and chemotherapy are possible, although radiation therapy is not generally advised. Termination of the pregnancy does not improve outcome for the mother and a normal-length pregnancy to avoid harm caused by premature birth should be the goal. The placenta should be examined for metastases; breastfeeding in the first few weeks after chemotherapy is not recommended.

Lymphoma is the fourth most common cancer in pregnancy, affecting one in 6,000 pregnancies, according to the third article. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, acute leukemia, and other hematologic malignancies can also occur in pregnancy; all pose diagnostic and therapeutic challenges. This article emphasizes management should focus on survival of the mother and concludes that the scarcity of data underscores the need for extensive collaborative efforts to expand basic and clinical research.

The Lancet Series

Share this article:

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Chemotherapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Enter Our April Contest

Start the contest today

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in General Oncology News

The Future of Clinical Trials: 'Smaller and Smarter'

The Future of Clinical Trials: 'Smaller and Smarter'

The time has come to "raise the bar" in cancer clinical trials.

Cognitive Decline Inversely Linked to Cancer Mortality Risk

Cognitive Decline Inversely Linked to Cancer Mortality Risk

Elderly individuals who experience faster cognitive decline appear to be at reduced risk of dying from cancer.

CDC: Invasive Cancer Incidence Down from 2010

CDC: Invasive Cancer Incidence Down from 2010

Majority of states still have not reached 2020 targets for reduced cancer incidence.